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Olive Ridleys arrive at Odisha coast for mass nesting

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Olive Ridleys arrive at Odisha coast for mass nesting

Recently Olive Ridley turtles have started reaching the Odisha coast for “mass nesting”.

  • Arribada of the year 2022 is the most delayed mass nesting event ever recorded on the Gahirmatha Coast. Arribada refers to the mass nesting (i.e. laying of eggs on a large scale) of sea turtles.
  • The Gahirmatha Coast of Odisha is the world’s largest breeding ground for Olive Ridley turtles. After this comes the place of Rishikulya.
  • Olive Ridley turtles usually lay 40-50 eggs at night by digging pits on sandy beaches. After laying eggs, turtles cover them again with sand. After this the turtles return to the sea before sunrise. After 40-60 days the chicks start hatching from these eggs.

Olive Ridleys:

  • They got this name due to their olive green colored shell. The shape of their armor is like a heart.
  • They are mainly found in the tropical regions of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans.

Threats:

  • They die from being accidentally caught in large fishing nets;
  • They are extensively poached for meat, armor and leather;
  • These are negatively affected by rising sea surface temperatures, etc.

These turtles are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Protection Status:

These are listed in Schedule of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. In addition, they are also listed in the Appendix of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Key steps taken by the government for conservation:

  • Operation Save Kurm has been started by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau.
  • The Odisha government has made the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) mandatory for large nets.
  • Operation Oliva exercise has been started. Its purpose is to ensure a safe haven at sea for the breeding Olive Ridley turtles.

Source – The Hindu

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