Mass nesting: Over 3.71 lakh Olive Ridley sea turtles lay eggs

Mass nesting: Over 3.71 lakh Olive Ridley sea turtles lay eggs

Agency News

Kendrapara, Mar 19 : Over 3.71 lakh Olive ridley sea turtles have laid eggs within a span of five days at golden beach of Nasi-2 within Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary. DFO of Rajnagar Mangrove forest and wildlife division Bikash Ranjan Dash said while 10,600 female turtles laid eggs on March 14 , as many as 68,311 olive ridley sea turtles laid eggs on March 15 .

Similarly, on March 16, about 98,135 turtles laid eggs and 98,700 turtles laid eggs on March 17 followed by 95,541 turtles on March 18. Meanwhile, the arribada (a Spanish term for mass nesting) would continue for another couple of days at Nasi-2 ,the favourite nesting place of the endangered marine species, Mr Dash said . The Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, instead of being a beacon of life, has turned into a bane for the endangered olive ridley sea turtle. Thousands of laid eggs were destroyed by the turtles, who came late for mass nesting to Nasi-2, informed forest official sources. With DRDO prohibiting visitors, only a handful of forest personnel on turtle protection duty have been engaged at the beach to witness this unique natural heritage.

Turtle nests have been counted through segment wise at Nasi –II beach . The forest personnel have made 24 segments at Nasi-II for counting turtle’s nest and engaged 26 forest personnel to count the nest in each segment per an hour. Each segment has been formed with 100 meter width, said the DFO.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Wheeler island, located close to Nasi II beach, has also masked the light to provide security to the endangered species for laying eggs as the endangered species skip from the shore for laying eggs when they come in contact with lights. The Gahirmatha Marine sanctuary personnel on Wednesday intercepted two fishing vessels, including a trawler and a mechanised boat, while they were catching fish illegally trespassing into no fishing zone. The forest personnel too arrested 19 fishermen from the intercepted fishing vessels. (UNI)