Pacia Purcell: Current Environmental News

Fate of turtles, tortoises affected more by habitat than temperature


Many species of turtles and tortoises are classified as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered due to being traded, collected for food or medicine, and habitat degradation. However, a study was done to see if long-term climate changes also had an effect on these species. The study compared current warming patterns to how turtle and tortoise ancestors reacted to climate warming in the past using fossil records. It was found that in the past species were able to adapt to climate warming however, in these cases warming spanned over a longer time period. Species today are susceptible to changes in climate and rainfall patterns, as sex is dependent on the temperature of eggs in developmental stages. The effect of climate change on these species will be determined not by warming itself, but by how fast the warming occurs.

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