Context: Mass hatching of Olive Ridley turtles began at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery, a major nesting site of these marine turtles.
More on news:
- In the past few days, the eggs collected from sporadic nesting spots to be incubated at artificial hatcheries of the Forest department along this coast have also started to hatch.
- Olive Ridley turtle eggs incubate on their own in the heat of the beach sand.
- State preparedness: In order to protect the eggs from predators and humans, the Forest department had put up metal net fencing over 5 km from Gokharkuda to Bateswar, and the area was divided into 50 segments for regular watching.
- Temperature Matters: They hatch in 45 to 60 days, depending on the temperature of the sand and atmosphere during the incubation period.
- Minimal human intervention during the mass nesting, incubation period: The lockdown due to COVID-19 had stopped outsiders from reaching the spot.
Olive Ridley Turtle
Image source: Wikipedia
- The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
- They are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
- The species is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List, Appendix 1 in CITES, and Schedule 1 in Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- The nesting sites in India
- Gahirmatha beach (Odisha)
- Beach of Rushikulya River(Odisha)
- Astaranga coast(Odisha)
- Devi River mouth(Odisha)
- Hope Island of Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (Andra Pradesh
- Major threats: Threats across their migratory route, habitat and nesting beaches, due to human activities such as unfriendly turtle fishing practices, development and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports, and tourist centers.
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