Loggerhead turtles returning to the beach where they were born thanks to the navigation magnetic

New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, united States, provides valuable information about the navigation and nesting behavior of the loggerhead turtles that could serve as a basis for future conservation efforts.

The loggerhead turtles that nest on the beaches with magnetic fields similar are genetically similar to each other, according to a new study by biologists from UNC-Chapel Hill Kenneth J. Lohmann, and J. Roger Brothers, whose work is published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

Magnetic fields are the best predictor of genetic similarity between the loggerhead sea turtles, regardless of the geographic proximity or the features of environmental of the nesting beaches. The findings support previous research of Lohmann and Brothers, which indicated that the loggerhead sea turtles in marine adult use magnetic fields to find their way back to the beach where they themselves hatched.

The new research implies that at times the turtles nest wrongly on a different beach with a magnetic field similar to, even if that beach is geographically far away from the beach they were born into, as on the opposite coast of Florida. According to the authors, conservation efforts must take into account the importance of the magnetic field of a beach to attract the loggerhead turtles. The walls marine, electrical power lines, and large buildings in front of the beach can alter the magnetic fields that are the turtles.

“The loggerhead turtles are fascinating creatures that begin their lives migrating alone across the Atlantic Ocean and back. Eventually, they return to nest on the beach where they were born, or, as has been detecgado, on a beach with a magnetic field very similar,” explains Kenneth Lohmann, professor of Biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of UNC-Chapel Hill.

“This is a new important knowledge about how sea turtles navigate during their migrations long distance. Could have important applications for the conservation of sea turtles, as well as other migratory animals such as salmon, sharks, and certain birds,” adds Lohmann.

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