A new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina has suggested that loggerhead sea turtles can locate the beach where they were born using earth's magnetic field. The study revealed that the internal organic GPS system in these turtles usually lead them straight back to their birthplace even after decades.
Researchers also found that these sea turtles often live in different beaches, only if the magnetic field of that beach is similar to the one where they were first hatched. Experts believe that this new finding will help to figure out the best possible conservation methods for these turtles.
During the study, researchers found that crowded beaches, large buildings, sea walls, and power lines often interfere with the magnetic field which will create confusion among these loggerhead turtles. These interferences often lead them to swim to a wrong beach, however, they would still find one with a similar magnetic field where they were first hatched.
Kenneth J. Lohmann and J. Roger Brothers, biologists at the University of North Carolina found that loggerhead turtles which migrated across the entire Atlantic Ocean basin when they were still babies returned to their home beach in North Carolina decades later. Some turtles reached Florida beaches by mistake, but the beaches in Florida have a similar magnetic field like North Carolina.
Loggerhead turtles are already considered 'threatened' species, which indicates that they will soon become endangered in the near future under the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act. In international level. It should be noted that the Sea Turtle Conservancy had already named loggerhead turtles in the list of endangered species.
The major threat faced by loggerhead turtles is the loss of habitat due to coastal development and human interferences. Longline fishing, shrimp trawling, and pollution also disturb these turtles while migration.