As climate change progresses and the Gulf of Maine warms up, more Kemp’s ridley turtles will head to that region in the summer — and get caught in cold water off Massachusetts as they try to return to their winter haunts in the Gulf of Mexico, researchers warn.
“With much warmer waters in the Gulf of Maine every year, migrating turtles get caught by geography — the long arm of Cape Cod — which cuts off their route to the south,” UMass Amherst conservation biologist Lucas Griffin, the first author of the study, said in a statement.
Researchers said that, with the Gulf of Maine expected to continue warming at a rapid rate in coming decades, the findings were “particularly alarming.”
The study, which also involved researchers from Mass Audubon and the University of Rhode Island, was published Tuesday in the journal PLOS One. (read more)
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