Stormy oceans are associated with declines in sea turtle hatching

Curr Biol. 2007 Aug 7;17(15):R590-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.06.021.


Many sea turtle populations are below 10% of their pre-Columbian numbers [1-4]. Though historic and systematic over-exploitation is the principal cause of these declines, sea turtles face similar threats today. Adults and juveniles are actively hunted and commercial fisheries catch them incidentally. Nesting suffers from beach development, egg poaching and the poaching of nesting females. Accompanying these familiar hazards is the largely unknown consequences of recent climate change. Here we report monitoring surveys from the Dry Tortugas National Park (DTNP, 24.64N 82.86W), Florida, and show that hurricanes and other storm events are an additional and increasing threat to loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting. Both species are listed by the US Endangered Species Act and the IUCN considers them 'endangered'.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disasters*
  • Eggs
  • Florida
  • Nesting Behavior
  • Population Dynamics
  • Turtles / physiology*