Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change threatens endangered freshwater turtle

Date:
July 3, 2011
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Restricted to only one river system in Australia, the Mary River turtle could suffer multiple problems under climate change. Researchers have shown that higher nest temperatures can cause reduced swimming abilities and a preference for dangerous shallow waters in young turtles.

The Mary river turtle (Elusor macrurus), which is restricted to only one river system in Australia, will suffer from multiple problems if temperatures predicted under climate change are reached, researchers from the University of Queensland have shown.

The scientists, who are presenting their work at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual conference in Glasgow on 3rd July 2011, incubated turtle eggs at 26, 29 and 32⁰C. Young turtles which developed under the highest temperature showed reduced swimming ability and a preference for shallower waters.

This combination of physiological and behavioural effects can have dual consequences for survival chances. "Deeper water not only provides the young turtles with protection from predators but is also where their food supply is found," explains PhD researcher, Mariana Micheli-Campbell. "Young turtles with poor swimming abilities which linger near the surface are unable to feed and are very likely to get picked off by birds. These results are worrying as climate change predictions for the area suggest that nest temperatures of 32⁰C are likely to be reached in the coming decades."

The Mary river turtle is already listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List and the population has suffered a large decline over the past decades. Some factors known to have affected the population include collection of the eggs for the pet trade and introduced predators such as foxes and dogs. "Whether climate change has already contributed to the decline is not clear," says Ms. Micheli-Campbell. "But these results show it may be a danger to this species in the future."

These findings may be shared by other species of turtle, but the outcome is likely to be more extreme in the Mary River turtle as climatic warming is particularly pronounced for this area and the relatively shallow nests of freshwater turtles are more susceptible to changes in ambient temperature than the deeper nests of sea turtles. Further research is needed to understand the effects of climate change on incubation in other turtles.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Climate change threatens endangered freshwater turtle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110703132534.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2011, July 3). Climate change threatens endangered freshwater turtle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110703132534.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Climate change threatens endangered freshwater turtle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110703132534.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins