A recent study has warned that sea turtle breeding grounds are under threat from rising sea levels.
As the water levels rise, nesting grounds and beaches will likely disappear, resulting in even more pressure on the wild sea turtle population. The report highlighted that leatherback turtle nesting areas are an area of particular concern.
The team led by Marga Rivas studied the likelihood of flooding due to rising sea levels at 2,835 sea turtle nesting sites. The study encompassed seven breeding locations around the world and covered a time frame from 2010 to 2100.
Areas covered in the study include:
- Mondonguillo beach, Costa Rica.
- Guanahacabibes peninsula, Cuba.
- Saona Island, Dominican Republic.
- The Ecuadorian coast, Raine Island-Australia.
- St George Island, Florida, USA.
- Sint Eustatius, Caribbean Netherlands.
The authors hypothesized that as sea levels rise and female turtles are forced to lay their eggs on flooded beaches, this will negatively affect the number of hatchings. At the same time, the long-term impact on populations is unclear and needs further study. The authors highlight the importance of implementing strategies to prevent these beaches from being destroyed by flooding.
You can find the original study here.