No Climate Change Effect Yet on Nesting Behavior of Leatherback Turtles

by Anna Alquitela

Much research has been conducted on phenological reproductive responses to climate change. These responses occur commonly in plants, butterflies, birds, amphibians, fish, and insect larvae. Because sea turtles use thermal cues to begin migration to nesting sites, the authors hypothesized that leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are delaying nesting in response to increased temperatures at their foraging grounds (Neeman et al. 2015). Biological responses due to increased temperatures have been observed in many other species of sea turtles. Some of these effects include offset sex ratios in embryos, nesting scarcity, reduced clutch size, and increased mortality rates of eggs and hatchlings. Continue reading