Tuatara and Climate Change – Science Express

Hotter temperatures are tipping the sex ratio of tuatara towards males. Dr Nicky Nelson talks about a revealing study of tuatara on North Brother Island, Cook Strait.

The case study of a natural population of tuatara on North Brother Island in the Cook Strait of New Zealand shows that, as a result of warmer temperatures, there is an accelerating decline in the proportion of adult female tuatara in the population. Dr Nelson says that understanding the mechanisms underlying population declines is critical in preventing the extinction of endangered populations.

Recorded in September 2014 as part of Te Papa’s Science Express programme.

RSNZ Wellington Branch logo GNS logo

Proudly supported by GNS Science and the Royal Society of New Zealand, Wellington Branch.

Science Express at Te Papa

Image: Tuatara [1]. From the installation: Tuatara haven, 1991, New Zealand, by Steve Fullmer. Commissioned 1991, in partnership with Expo NZ 1992 Ltd and the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (1996-0033-15/1)

The image has Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND Licence