Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Species in news: Red Sea Turtles

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Red Sea Turtles

Mains level : Impact of climate changes

Turtle populations in the Red Sea could be turning overwhelmingly female because of a rise in sea temperatures caused due to anthropogenic climate change, a new study has showed.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Consider the following fauna of India:

  1. Gharial
  2. Leatherback turtle
  3. Swamp deer

Which of the above is/are endangered?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) None

Red Sea Turtles

  • There are seven extant species worldwide, five of which can be found in the Red Sea: the green turtle, the hawksbill turtle, the loggerhead turtle, the olive ridley turtle and the leatherback turtle.
  • In order to maintain a 50:50 ratio of male and female in the population, a temperature of 29.2 degrees Celsius is pivotal.
  • Above this, hatchlings would be predominantly female.
  • The sand temperatures at four of the sites exceeded 29.2 degrees; leading the team to the conclusion that ‘feminization’ of the population could be already happening.

Their significance

  • Marine turtles—as all top predators—have a prominent role in maintaining balanced and healthy ecosystems, in particular seagrass beds and coral reefs.
  • They also help in transporting nutrients towards naturally nutrient-poor ecosystems (the nesting beaches), and providing food and transportation for other marine species (e.g., barnacles and commensal crabs).
  • Marine turtles also play an important role in the economy of the tourism industry.
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