Tagging Olive Ridley Turtles (Zoological Survey of India)
- The Zoological Survey of India has started tagging the endangered Olive Ridley turtles in Odisha.
- Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have tagged 6 Olive Ridley turtles swimming in the deep waters of the Bay of Bengal and released them back into the sea. These tags are made of aluminum.
- According to (ZSI), it will tag 30,000 turtles to know their movement and migration route.
- These turtles will come to Rushikulya beach to hatching eggs in February. Rushikulya beach is one of the largest mass nesting sites for turtles.
- Millions of endangered turtles come for nesting extensively along the Odisha coast, including the mouth of the Rushikulya River, the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and the mouth of the Devi River.
Wildlife Institute of India (WII):
- The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) conducted a study in 2007–2010 to determine the route of migration of turtles.
- According to the WII study, Olive Ridley turtle, which then came to Odisha beaches for mass nesting, were found off the coast of Sri Lanka and even the Andaman Islands.
- The Government of Odisha had recently requested the WII to undertake a fresh study to determine the route of sea turtle
- Olive Ridley sea turtles are also known as ‘Pacific Olive Ridley sea turtles’.
- It is a medium-sized species of sea turtle found mainly in the warm waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. They are non-vegetarian.
- In the Red List released by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), they have been classified as vulnerable species.
- Olive Ridley turtles come to nest on the Ganjam coast of Odisha, traveling thousands of kilometers. After that the children, who are coming out from these eggs, go back to their habitat thousands of kilometers away by sea route.
- It is noteworthy that after about 30 years, when these turtles are eligible for breeding, they come to nest exactly where they were born.
- In fact, during his travel to India, they pass through the coast of Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, but chooses only the sand of Odisha for breeding and making homes.
Threats on the existence of Olive Ridley:
- The biggest loss to these turtles comes from fishing trawlers.
- Turtles swim in the depths of the sea, but are vulnerable to fishing trawlers when they come to the sea surface.
- However, in this regard, the Odisha High Court has ordered that the trawlers operating on the way to the turtle’s arrival should place a ‘TED’ or Turtle Exclusion Device (a device that does not trap the turtle fisherman’s net).
Source – The Hindu