Bucking climate change, male sea turtles being born after multi-year hiatus: FAU researcher says

by Tyler Treadway, Treasure Coast Newspapers

The boys are back in town.

After more than a dozen years of nearly every sea turtle born on Florida beaches being female, a small but significant number of males were born last year, said Jeanette Wyneken, a biological sciences professor at Florida Atlantic University.

Wyneken hasn’t finished her research on the 2018 hatchlings, but current data points to about 20 percent of them being male.

“It’s not a lot, but it’s better than nothing,” she said.

And for the past couple of years, nothing has been the norm.

Wyneken studies mostly loggerhead sea turtles, by far the most prevalent species nesting on Florida beaches. In the past 13 years, there have been seven years with no male loggerhead hatchlings found at test beaches on the state’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Wyneken said.

Since Wyneken started studying sea turtles in 2002, there hasn’t been a year with a majority of males. The closest was 2013, when 32 percent of the hatchlings were males.

Read more: https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/health/2019/03/05/male-sea-turtle-hatchlings-return-beaches-despite-climate-change/3054787002/?utm_source=usatoday-Climate%20Point&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=narrative&utm_term=article_body

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