Environmental changes and their effects on the fate of sea turtle reproductive potential and conservation

I. Y. Mahmoud, S. K. Al-Musharafi, S. N. Al-Bahry, I. S. Al-Amri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This study tends to address the major environmental problems which threaten the nesting beaches and feeding grounds of the sea turtles throughout the world. Today, sea turtles are exposed to a contaminated environment throughout their migratory routes. The destruction of natural nesting beaches is escalating due to development of coastal industries, tourism, residential areas, excessive commercial fishing, water recreational activities, artificial lighting near the nesting areas, and renourishment of beaches. These conditions discourage and frequently prevent the turtles from nesting. Hatchlings and nesting turtles are confused by artificial lighting and frequently take a wrong direction toward the light rather than to the sea. Also, the turtles are exposed to heavy metals and antibiotic- resistant bacteria in sewage effluent which reaches the nesting beaches via urban sewage discharge. In addition, worldwide nesting beaches are subjected to drastic changes in sand temperature due to global warming and global dimming. Sex determination in sea turtles and in some other reptiles is determined by temperature during the incubation period. Eggs incubated at a temperature of 30-31 °C produce mostly females, while those incubated at 26-27 °C produce mostly males. Fluctuation in the global temperature may change sex ratio which consequently threatens their survival. It is increasingly urgent that these issues must be addressed internationally by biologists and conservationists.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiotechnology and Conservation of Species from Arid Regions
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781631178726
ISBN (Print)9781631178696
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2014


  • Environmental changes
  • Pollution
  • Reproductive potential conservation
  • Sea turtles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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