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July 23, 2008

Turtle Beaches Heat Up

I’m intrigued by an article yesterday in National Geographic News about the ways scientists are intervening to protect Pacific leatherback sea turtles in the face of global warming.As the sand heats up, the potential for cooked eggs increases, so scientists are transplanting nests and planting shade trees. Sea turtles face threats from coastal development, poaching, and fishing bycatch, but the warming planet is a prickly foe — the temperature of beach sand surrounding an egg determines the sex of a developing turtle. Plus, migration routes might be altered as waters warm, so some scientists are hoping to keep a close eye on where the turtles go — so they can protect any new habitat. Learn more about Oceana’s work to protect sea turtles. [Image: David Sherwood via news.nationalgeographic.com]