Feminisation of Red Sea Turtles

The turtle population in Red Sea is turning female due to rise in sea temperature. A Team of researchers from the Saudi Arabia King Abdullah University of Science and Technology conducted a study. They selected five sites in the region that are favoured by Green Turtles and Hawksbill.
The researchers collected data for every fifteen minutes for five months. According to the researchers, to maintain 50:50 ratio of males and females population, temperature of 29.2 degrees Celsius is required. Above this temperature, the turtle hatchlings will predominantly be female. The researchers during the study found that the temperature at four out of the selected five sites exceeded 29.2 degrees Celsius.

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Conservation of Turtles

Different turtles are classified differently by IUCN. The classification is as follows

  • The Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles are classified as “Endangered”. Their population have declines by 50% in the last ten years
  • Leatherback Turtles and Oliver Ridley Turtles have been classified as “Vulnerable”.
  • Leatherback Turtle in Northwest Atlantic has been classified as “Endangered”.
  • Green Turtle, Kemp’s Ridley Turtle and Hawksbill turtle have been classified as “Critically endangered”. According to IUCN, 80% of these turtles were lost in the last 10 years.

Conservation of Turtles in India

In India, the Green Turtle and Hawksbill turtles are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Turtles are also protected under the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation programme. India has five species of turtles. They are Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Green Turtle, Hawksbill.

World Turtle Day

Every year World Turtle Day is celebrated on May 23. In 2020, the day was celebrated under the theme “Adopt, Don’t Shop”. The World Turtle Day is organised by the Non-Profit Organization called the American Tortoise Rescue. It is being observed by the National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Wildlife Institute of India as well.

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