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WWF After Your Money Again, Else The Turtles Will Get It!

January 10, 2018
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


Give us the money, or the turtles will get it!


 Rswwfau 4863 web

A new study reveals rising temperatures are turning green turtle populations almost completely female in the northern Great Barrier Reef.

More than 200,000 nesting females—one of the largest populations in the world—call the northern Great Barrier Reef home. But this population could eventually crash without more males, according to the study published in Current Biology

How does climate change impact sex?

Because incubation temperature of turtle eggs determines the animal’s sex, a warmer nest results in more females. Increasing temperatures in Queensland’s north, linked to climate change, have led to virtually no male northern green sea turtles being born.

For the study, scientists caught green turtles at the Howick Group of islands where both northern and southern green turtle populations forage in the Great Barrier Reef.  Using a combination of endocrinology and genetic tests, researchers identified the turtles’ sex and nesting origin.

Of green turtles from warmer northern nesting beaches, 99.1% of juveniles, 99.8% of subadults, and 86.8% of adults were female. Turtles from the cooler southern reef nesting beaches showed a more moderate female sex bias (65%–69% female).

Lead author Dr. Michael Jensen, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says northern Great Barrier Reef green turtle nesting beaches have been producing primarily females for more than two decades resulting in “extreme female bias”.

The scientific research was facilitated through the Great Barrier Reef Rivers to Reef to Turtles project, led by WWF-Australia. WWF’s Marine Species Project Manager Christine Hof was also a scientific researcher in the study.



In fact, it has been known for some time that warm nesting sites favour the development of females, as Wikipedia state:

The green sea turtles exhibit sex differences by their development and appearance. As adult turtles, males are easily distinguishable from the females by having a larger tail and longer claws on the front flippers. The hatching time and sex of the turtles are determined by the incubation temperature of the nest. Hatchings occur more quickly in nests that are warmer than nests that are in cooler conditions. Warm nesting sites above 30 degrees Celsius favor the development of females, whereas nesting sites below 30 degrees Celsius produce males. The position of the egg in the nest also affects sex-determination. Eggs in the center tend to hatch as females due to the warmer conditions within the nest.


Now, I did not do GCEs in Turtles, but I suspect there are very good evolutionary reasons for this. Warmer conditions clearly are good news for turtles, as the eggs hatch more quickly.

Given that turtles return to their hatching site to breed, it would make evolutionary sense for more females to return to these warmer beaches, so as to lay more eggs and take advantage of such advantageous conditions.


Green turtles are in fact remarkably widespread, and are found in tropical, subtropical and temperate waters around the world. They certainly are not dependent on a narrow set of weather conditions.

 In Australia alone, there are seven regional populations of green turtles that nest in different areas; the southern Great Barrier Reef, the northern Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea, the Gulf of Carpentaria, Western Australia’s north-west shelf, the Ashmore and Cartier Reefs and Scott Reef.

They have also been around for more then 100 million years, so the idea that they will all die out if it gets a bit warmer is palpable nonsense.

As with many other animals though, there are other very real threats, such as coastal development, fishing, predation of the eggs by feral animals, often unsustainable harvesting of adult turtles and eggs, and entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.



But what about those rising temperatures, in summer when the hatching season occurs?




Whilst there were many relatively cold summers in the past, summer temperatures in Queensland are no higher than they were on many occasions in the last century. There is certainly no indication that they will go any higher.


Meanwhile, experts tell us that to date, there have been no detectable declines in the number of nesting green turtles at Great Barrier Reef nest monitoring sites.


But WWF won’t mention any of this, because they want your money.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    January 10, 2018 2:31 pm

    From your temperature chart, it seems it’s a bloody good job the research wasn’t carried out in 2010.

  2. January 10, 2018 2:36 pm

    The real debate is: which bathroom will these sexually morphed turtles use?

    • January 10, 2018 2:40 pm

      That would be a research project for the University of East Anglia. Perhaps those students with their brilliant suggestion to pee in the shower could tackle this bathroom issue.

  3. January 10, 2018 3:08 pm

    So green turtle males retreat to the pub after doing only their regulated number of female turtles?
    WWF must think we’re stupid.

    • RAH permalink
      January 10, 2018 3:15 pm

      They know enough people are stupid enough to buy into their scams and keep the green rolling in. Like politicians the WWF gave up on difficult but solvable problems long ago to go with made up problems that bring in the cash.

    • Paddy permalink
      January 11, 2018 7:08 am

      In times of hardship, sex ratio of most species swings toward females, in order to give the maximum chance of quick recovery. A commonly-known fact that these greenies appear to disregard.

  4. January 10, 2018 3:19 pm

    Saw a couple of adds on TV last night of polar bear struggling in thin ice BUT we can save them just send £3 or £5 /month…

    Thieving lying bá$$ards

  5. Broadlands permalink
    January 10, 2018 3:42 pm

    And don’t forget the Great Barrier Reef corals that were “bleached” by CO2. It’s amazing what a little added CO2 can do?

  6. BLACK PEARL permalink
    January 10, 2018 4:55 pm

    They’re still pushing the Polar Bear lies.
    Just watched another miss-sold advert.
    Hasn’t there been numerous complaints lodged to the advertising Authority over this already?
    If so it appears to have made no difference

    • RAH permalink
      January 10, 2018 5:00 pm

      As long as a US Judge allows them to keep renewing the “endangered” status for Polar bears based on nothing but supposition that they will actually become endangered in the future due to “climate change”, they’ve got a legal leg to stand on to defend their lies.

  7. Roy permalink
    January 10, 2018 5:21 pm

    And of course, this was given a lot of coverage on the BBC yesterday morning. I guess they’re desperate for AGW stories, seeing as half the world has been freezing in sub-zero temps and under several feet of snow :0)

  8. Athelstan permalink
    January 10, 2018 5:52 pm

    Have wwf turned turtle on the poley bears?

    I’d like to see an extinction event – all the green NGOs disappearing into a tepid sea of mediocrity and virtue signalling all the way into the deep where they shack up with Davy in his locker – you know what, it could certainly save the world.

  9. bob nielsen permalink
    January 10, 2018 6:10 pm

    Those southern green turtle boys will be having fun with those nice odds. What is it? 5 to 1 girls to boys off the Queensland coast. Now given turtles just go for one-night-stands I think the boys will have no trouble covering half a dozen ladies each a year. (The lads in my village try to achieve that). So given that in many animal species (horses, lions, chimps, gorillas, deer, humans?) the dominant males control a harem and do most of the mating and the lesser males do no mating, Therefore the majority of males are redundant for mating purposes. A population of 100 humans split 50/50 male and female can produce 50 babies a year from its 50 females. If it was split 20/80 with more females it can produce 80 babies a year. Looks like clever evolution has given the turtles a means of maximising their population growth by producing more egg laying females to redundant males when the warmer conditions make survival more likely.
    Bottom line. Nature doesnt need as many useless males as reproductive females. Why should there be an even split???

  10. January 10, 2018 7:06 pm

    Based on this study, they would not have survived the Eemian Period.

  11. January 10, 2018 9:02 pm

    Todays scare is that irakunji jellyfish are moving south towards the Gold Coast because of warming waters.Our esteemed “experts” at James Cook University say this will impact tourism.
    I reckon if the jellyfish are spreading South then so will the Great Barrier reef .I am sure there is a case for a research grant in there somewhere.

  12. kaykiser permalink
    January 10, 2018 9:13 pm

    WWF is not about saving the environment or animals. It is about reducing human populations and limiting land use for farming and/or logging. Julian Huxley, a known eugenicist and population control activist, was a founding member. Quote from my up-coming book on the subject:

    “Julian Huxley, a biologist, was a eugenicist, evolutionist, socialist, atheist, rationalist and humanist whose achievements and affiliations include the following. He was president of the British Eugenics Society, secretary of the British Zoological Society, a leader in the neo-Darwinian synthesis, first president of the British Humanist Society, signer of the Humanist Manifesto, Humanist of the Year Award, 1962, by the American Humanist Association, founding member and first director of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and founding member of World Wildlife Fund (now called World Wide Fund for Nature). He advocated for sterilization and control of the (assumed) genetically inferior, but admitted that raising living standards would reduce the birthrate. While in Africa he noted that the Tsetse fly and malaria kept population low and protected the environment.”

  13. kaykiser permalink
    January 10, 2018 9:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Science is distorted by progressive philosophy.

    • rjwooll permalink
      January 11, 2018 4:16 pm

      Oh dear I hadn’t come across that site before. Do not disguise a defence of religious belief as rational philosophy; the whole direction of enlightenment thinking has been the triumph of reason over belief and the liberation of the individual from religious dogma.

  14. John F. Hultquist permalink
    January 10, 2018 9:37 pm

    I posted on Jo Nova’s site about this:

    Temperature and offspring gender is not new.
    Nature will show a way to adjust. Researchers just need to continue their work (more grants) and the explanation will be found.
    The sex of alligators, and some lizards and turtles is determined in the same manner.
    A search will quickly find such information:
    according to Dr. Paul Cardeilhac, a professor of veterinary medicine

    Note that Australian Malleefowl senses temperature and adjusts the nest to keep eggs within a narrow temperature band.
    Several good web articles, one:

  15. mothcatcher permalink
    January 10, 2018 10:29 pm

    Seems to me very unlikely that the turtles are endangered in the way suggested. Paul points out that the temperature history of FNQ doesn’t support the turtle sex data, but even if it did, we probably shouldn’t be worried.

    First question to ask, as so often in biology, is why?

    Why is it that cooler eggs produce more males? I’ll admit I know very little about turtles, but I’m going to suggest that this might have evolved as a mechanism to increase the chances of mating success between turtles from different beaches/areas. It is possible to see that a very successful egglaying beach, with similar sand conditions over a big area, might come to overwhelm the population in big areas of ocean. A sex-determining strategy based on different temps/beach conditions would help to maintain a vigorous and diverse gene pool.

    • mothcatcher permalink
      January 10, 2018 10:42 pm

      … and if, as is often reported, females [usually] return to the beach where they are born that would be another driver, would it not?

  16. mothcatcher permalink
    January 10, 2018 10:45 pm

    … And if it is true that females tend to return to the beach of their birth, it would seem desirable that they were not always pairing with related males, would it not?

  17. Derek Colman permalink
    January 11, 2018 1:31 am

    Sadly the WWF has deserted its ethical beginnings. It is all about raising money to sustain their officials in the manner to which they have become accustomed. Their recent ad campaign to “adopt a polar bear” to save them from extinction says it all. How dishonest can they get? There is zero evidence that polar bears are threatened with anything except maybe overpopulation.

  18. Green Sand permalink
    January 11, 2018 2:03 pm

    Some sad news about one of the good guys

    ‘Philip Eden, meteorologist – obituary’

    ……“Having spent more than 30 years in the forecasting business,” he wrote in 2008, “I have become rather proprietorial about the weather, and become quite cross when other people blame extreme weather for their own shortcomings … Those we charge with looking after the nation’s infrastructure … routinely blame ‘unprecedented’ weather when they fail to do their job. It provides a handy excuse for government’s failure to maintain adequate flood defences or the water companies’ lack of financial provision for drought.”

    Agencies such as the Met Office and the Environment Agency, he claimed, seemed sometimes to be selecting the statistics their political masters wanted to hear. During the summer floods of 2007, for example, much was made of the claim that May, June and July comprised the wettest such three-month period in 242 years of records – a key statistic in the Government’s review of the official response to the floods.

    But, Eden pointed out, it was only the wettest May-to-July period: “If you look at all the three-month periods on record, May-July 2007 was merely the 42nd wettest; in other words, such a large total will recur once every six years, on average. In fact, higher rainfall totals occurred in the winter of 2002-3 and the autumn of 2000.” Extreme weather, he maintained, “is part and parcel of our climate and it is wrong to treat it as new every time it happens”…….

  19. Chris Lynch permalink
    January 11, 2018 4:34 pm

    I have serious concerns that this article and the comments attached represent transphobic hate crimes!

  20. January 12, 2018 1:54 pm

    Something which is seldom mentioned is that groups such as this actually spend very little of what they take in from the hand-wringing leftist environmentalist community on the stated purpose. WWF is a misnomer when it comes to actually doing something for wildlife. It is all political and anti-capitalism, anti-liberty (ours, not theirs) and anti-human (us, not them).


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