Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Mary River turtles threatened by climate change

The turtle River Mary (Mary River) - Elusor macrurus - are a particular species limited to a single river system in Australia. Recent studies consider that they will suffer from multiple problems whether future temperatures increase envisaged because of climate change reach.

Scientists have incubated eggs of the Mary River turtles at temperatures of 26, 29 and 32 ° C. Young turtles that took place in high temperatures (32 °) showed a decline in the ability of swimming and - therefore - a preference for shallow water.

This combination of physiological effects and behavior may have consequences for the chances of survival of the offspring. Deeper waters, not only offer the young turtles protection from predators, but is also where his food. These results are worrying given that the predictions of climate change for the area suggest that the temperature of the nest likely to reach 32 ° C in the coming decades.

It the Mary River Turtle is endangered according to The IUCN Red List and the population has suffered a great decline in recent decades. Some known factors that have affected the population include the capture of eggs for the trade and the introduction of predators such as foxes and dogs.

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