“Turtles keep you guessing,” she said. “What’s more shocking is since that nest we’re seen five more.”
The early nestings have bad and good implications for sea turtle nesting in South Carolina and across the Southeast. Loggerheads, which lay most of the eggs here, are also nesting earlier.
The phenomenon is likely one more sign that warmer seas and sands are becoming one more threat to the declining species.
But it might mean the ancient turtles themselves are adapting — again — to a changing climate.
Far more of the eggs that are laid in warmer sands emerge as females, disrupting the gender balance needed to reproduce. The trend has worried biologists for the turtles’ future. The turtles, metabolically if not instinctively, might just be looking for cooler sands. The shift in nesting season is occurring along with an apparent northward shift in range.
Sea turtles have begun nesting in Florida, earlier than ever.
South Carolina is seeing the same troubling trend.https://t.co/nkZeGy1ArK
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) February 24, 2020