Turtles on the Move

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,121
    Researcher studied how climate change is affecting turtles and their habitats in order to help them estimate future extinction rates.

    As climate change progresses, North American turtle populations are being pushed from their habitats.  Using data on 59 different turtle species published on turtle physiology, genetics, and fossils with new models of species' response to climate-change cycles over the last 320 millenia, researchers found that the centers of the turtles' ranges shifted an average of 45 miles for each degree of warming or cooling.  While most species found suitable new habitats, some didn't causing them to be endangered.  Researchers say that understanding how turtles respond to these changes helps them to estimate future extinction risks that could be caused by climate change.