You might have seen them on one of the beaches of Bonaire or Klein Bonaire, it might even be the reason you are on this page: our data loggers. These data loggers are used to measure the temperature of the sand on the most important nesting beaches of Bonaire. You might wonder why? Well, several studies have shown that the temperature of the sea turtle nest has a big influence on their development. For example, temperature influences the male-female ratio of the sea turtle nest before they hatch. When a nest has a higher temperature, the majority of the nest will grow up to be female. While a cooler nest temperature results in a majority of males. This is easy to remember by “hot chicks, cool dudes”.
Besides influencing the sex ratio in the nest, studies have shown that the temperature can also influence the incubation time, growth rate and oxygen consumption rate of the hatchlings. Climate change and increasing temperatures may cause a misbalance in the male-female ratio of sea turtles. However, still a lot is unknown about how much the influence is and what the change in all these factors might mean for the future of the sea turtle species. For this reason, we are trying to collect more data on the beaches of Bonaire
In 2021, with funding from WWF-NL and support from the Inter-American Sea Turtle Convention, STCB deployed 95 temperature loggers on the most important nesting beaches of Bonaire to learn more about the potential threat of increasing temperatures on Bonaire.
These loggers are in the sand for approximately 12 months before data is collected. By collecting this data, we will be able to determine the average temperature of the sand in the sun and shade at the various nesting beaches. At this moment, we are still analyzing the data from last year and we have deployed new data loggers on the most important nesting beaches so we can keep collecting more and more data.
This research is an important first step in learning more about the effects of climate change on sea turtle hatchlings born on Bonaire.