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Published on Sep 3, 2009
The leatherback is critically endangered. The main causes of the global decline of its populations have been egg pillaging, nesting habitat deterioration due to accelerated urban development on some beaches and incidental capture by fishers on long lines and in nets. To these pressures is added climate change, which would affect nesting beaches and the proper development of turtle eggs in the sand due to rising sea level and incubation temperature, respectively. Specifically, rising sea level threatens to erode key nesting sites for sea turtles, where infrastructure or natural obstacles impede the landward retreat of the beaches.
The purpose of this study from WWF Marine & Species Programme for Latin America & the Caribbean is to generate inundation simulations for some scenarios of sea level rise due to climate change, which can be used to raise awareness in coastal communities about this problem and aid the management authorities of protected wild lands in designing infrastructure-free setbacks.