Lora turtles reach Yucatan Peninsula due to sea temperature change, scientists say – The Yucatan Times

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YUCATÁN, MEXICO (July 9, 2021) .- An unprecedented act has taken place on the Yucatan coast in the past 50 years. Kemp’s ridley turtle specimens (Lora Turtle) arrived to nest in the area, the relevant investigations are therefore being carried out to find out what are the reasons which led these specimens to travel to this territory and one of the first hypotheses is that this could be due to the change of the water of the ocean Temperature.

Melania López Castro, coordinator of the Yucatan Peninsula Marine Turtle Conservation Program, stressed that it is still too early to know exactly why the arrival of this type of turtle has taken place on the Yucatan coast.

In addition, she clarified that efforts to monitor and observe sea turtles began less than 50 years ago, so it is not possible to know if before that time this species came to nest in the area.

However, the specialist commented that it is likely that his arrival was due to a change in water temperature due to global warming.

Photo: (Blanca Zapata)

“Since many species of marine turtles depend on their marine biology, that is, they depend on their environmental temperature and the migratory corridors have a certain temperature and are the ones they use as a path to go to certain areas. Right now, for example, we have a strong climate change that is happening gradually from year to year, and this year in particular, with the phenomenon “La Niña”, the temperatures are getting much higher, ”she said. declared.

Regarding this phenomenon, she explained that one characteristic is that it has a greater effect on the Pacific coast, but in any case, it modifies the climatic conditions of the whole planet in general, and therefore, the temperature. of the sea also changes.

“So there is a change in the temperature of the water and well, if they have found ideal conditions to approach the Yucatan coast, then they come to nest here,” she explained.

Regarding the Lora turtle, Melania López explained that it is one of the smallest of the seven in the world.

Photo: (Marigel Campo)

Likewise, another special feature is that its life cycle takes place in the Gulf of Mexico and its distribution is small compared to other species of sea turtles that can migrate thousands of kilometers between foraging areas. and nesting.

Its main nesting area is in Tamaulipas as nearly 90 percent of its nesting takes place there and a few other nests sporadically in Texas, the United States, Veracruz and Campeche.

It is a turtle that likes to nest during the day, unlike other species that like to nest at night, moreover, the Kemp’s ridley turtle seeks to do so when there are very strong winds or it is very cloudy.

The specialist also shared that their sexual reproduction begins between the ages of 12 and 19, unlike other species of turtles which begin two or three decades after birth.

Photo 🙁 Marigel Campo)

His arrival in Yucatán this year is a unique event and although it is not known whether the Lora Turtle will return by 2022, the specialists in its surveillance will await their return, in particular to determine if it is a species that arrives sporadically.

In the state, the species of sea turtles which nest the most frequently are the White or the Green which nest on the coast of Las Coloradas or El Cuyo, mainly and the Carey which reaches Celestún.

This time, the Lora species has chosen the beaches near Progreso and the inhabitants of the area are called upon to inform the authorities if they see a turtle of this species or another for its care, monitoring and protection.

In Mexico, the olive ridley turtle is considered critically endangered and is on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Photo: (Terry Ross)

Source: La Jornada Maya

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