“Scientists studying sea turtle hatchlings and eggs haven’t found any males, so only females in the last four years,” said Zirkelbach, whose turtle center has been in operation since 1986.
For her part, Melissa Rosales Rodríguez, caretaker of these animals at the newly opened Zoo Miami turtle hospital, said, “Over the years, there will be a sharp decline in the population because we will not have genetic diversity”. In addition, he stated: “We do not have the proportion of male and female necessary to be able to have successful breeding sessions.
Both hospital institutions are also in the fight against tumors known as fibropapillomatosis, which affect this species. These tumors are contagious and can even cause death if left untreated.
Since the climate affects the future of the turtles and the illness is so widespread, Zirkelbach sees the need to open more rehabilitation centers. “The Turtle Hospital was the first. But unfortunately and fortunately, there is a need throughout Florida,” he added.
An interesting fact is that if the eggs are incubated below 27.7°C, the hatchlings will be male, while if they are incubated above 31°C, they will be female, according to the National Service website. of NOAA Oceans.
Sea turtles: what are the advances in Venezuela
Four of the seven species of sea turtles: the cardón, the largest, which can measure up to 2 meters and exceed 500 kilos; the green one, the second largest with more than 200 kilos of weight; and the tortoiseshell, one of the smallest; besides the loggerhead. In this line, a total of 101 loggerhead hatchlingswhich when they are adults have a huge head and a pale yellow color, hatched in a nursery that the rescuers built to protect them.