The Loggerhead Turtle has a heart-shaped carapace, with five pairs of costal plates that are dark brown in colour, and with reddish and darker brown patches. Mature females have a curved carapace averaging 96 cm in length. Hatchlings are dark brown and measure 4.4 cm in straight carapace length and weigh approximately 19 g.
Loggerhead Turtle |
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Species Profile and Threats Database, Caretta caretta
However; changes to air and sea temperatures; sea level rise and other physical aspects that may change with climate change have the potential to alter the species future occurrence (Hamann et al. 2007).
Threats Top Marine turtles face a number of threats associated with the following broad categories of human activity commercial and recreational fishing coastal infrastructure and development (including industrial; residential and tourism development) Indigenous harvest feral animal predation and climate change.
Climate Change and Extreme Events Changing termparatures and weather patterns associated with climate change are likely to have both direct physiological impacts on marine turtles; as well as indirect effects through impacts on critical turtle habitats (DEWHA in prep.).
Climate change may alter the temperature of nesting beaches; thereby affecting the male female ratio.
The long life span and long maturation and reproductive times of Loggerhead Turtles reduces the ability of these animals to adapt to changes in environmental conditions likely to be associated with climate change (DEWHA in prep.).
Climate change impacts are being monitored by the QPWS turtle research project by conducting detailed sand temperature studies at Mon Repos.
More effort should be placed on understanding patterns of nest site selection and how nesting sites may change under different climate regimes (Hamann et al. 2007) and understanding the ecological roles of Loggerhead Turtles and possible impacts of climate change to important diet species (Hamann et al. 2007).