HomeWeatherIn a first, over 6.37 lakh endangered Olive Ridley turtles lay eggs...

In a first, over 6.37 lakh endangered Olive Ridley turtles lay eggs in Odisha beach

The Rushikulya river mouth in Odisha’s Ganjam district has emerged as a major rookery for the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, as a record number of over 6.37 lakh turtles laid eggs on the beach during the eight day duration of mass nesting, official sources said.

Mass nesting of the turtles started on a 3-km long beach from Podampeta to Bateshwar area near the river mouth from February 23 and continued till Thursday. During the period as many as 6,37,008 turtles have laid eggs, which is 86,000 more than the previous year, said Sunny Khokkar, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Berhampur.

Also Read| Goa: HC orders crackdown against beach parties affecting turtle nesting

This time all the previous records in the rookery broke in the nesting, the DFO claimed.

Last year 5,50,317 turtles had laid eggs, while in 2018 over 4.82 lakh had laid eggs in the rookery, sources said.

As this time, the mass nesting took place over a month ahead, the experts expect more hatchlings to emerge. “We expect the hatchlings will also take place early this time as the mass nesting took place early this time,” said the DFO.

Also Read: Forest dept to check fish shops for illegally selling turtles as pets

Khokkar said they have taken all necessary measures to protect the eggs in the rookery. Adequate number of personnel, including local people, has been engaged to keep watch on the eggs from predators. As the female turtles go back to the sea after laying eggs, predators like jackals, wild dogs, wild boars and birds will be on the prowl to eat the eggs, he said.

Moreover, as a measure to protect the eggs from the predators, the authorities have set up fencing around the area. Before the emergence of the hatchlings, the forest officials would cover the entire area with mosquito nets to protect them from birds, sources said.

“As the mother turtles did not wait to see the baby turtles, emerging from the sand pits, about 45 to 50 days after the nesting, we are taking care of the eggs and baby turtles in the absence of their mothers till they crawl into the sea,” said the DFO.

Stay Connected
Must Read
You might also like


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here