Moving gulf turtles away from oil

This story highlights something I’ve been wondering for a while and placed on my Repair Ecosystems summary page: how many species, and indeed ecosystems, will we have to move and manage ourselves? In the face of global warming, pests, and out of control suburban sprawl, it seems biologists and conservationists have to try to move some species into artificial breeding programs until such time as the various crises pass.

“All along the Gulf Coast’s beaches it’s turtle-hatching season. Conservationists knew the poor hatchlings wouldn’t have a chance if they swam out into the oily waters of the Gulf, so they came up with an incredibly ambitious plan: they would dig up 70,000 turtle eggs, carefully raise them in a climate-controlled hanger at the Kennedy Space Center, and release the hatchlings into the clean Atlantic waters off Florida’s east coast. Now that project is well underway, and Discover Magazine has pictures of the first batch of hatchlings crawling towards the welcoming waves. But there’s a chance all this do-gooding won’t do any good. New Scientist found experts who argue that releasing them into the Atlantic rather than into the Gulf will screw up the turtles’ navigation systems, which will prevent them from following their normal migratory routes.”

via Slashdot Science Story | The Gulf’s Great Turtle Relocation Project.

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