Mass nesting of Olive ridley begins in Gahirmatha, over 2.45 lakh turtles arrived on first day
Kendrapada: The mass nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtles commenced at Gahirmatha beach in Kendrapada on Friday night. On the first day, over 2.45 lakhs, Olive Ridley arrived to lay eggs, informed Divisional Forest Officer, J D Pati.
“We witnessed a good number on the first day of mass nesting. We expect more Olive Ridley turtles would arrive on the beach to lay eggs in the coming days,” he said. The forest officials expect the arribada to continue for the next six days.
For the protection of eggs, the forest department has made various arrangements. Informing about the steps being taken by the department, Pati said “Joint night patrolling is being done by Mangrove Forest Division, Rajnagar, and Bhadrak Wildlife Division. Over 70 people are engaged in the patrolling. We have also erected fencing of 3 km covering the nesting beach.”
This apart, seaside patrolling is also going on to protect eggs from feral dogs, predators, and scavengers, he informed.
Forest department officials are expecting good nesting this year. “This year we could witness the highest number of nesting. We are expecting over 7-8 lakh, Olive Ridley,” he added.
Sporadic nesting has been reported in Gahirmatha and Rushikulya since February this year.
In the Rushikulya area of Ganjam, over 13000 Olive Ridley turtles laid eggs on Friday night. Worried about the decrease in the arrival of sea turtles in the region for nesting, Rabindranath Sahu, secretary of Rushikulya Marine Turtle Protection Committee said, “This year Olive Ridley are nesting in other beaches in Rushikulya. Purunabandha, Gokurkhuda, and Podmapeta beach where we used to witness large numbers of nesting has changed. The beach surface of these three beaches has decreased due to which Olive Ridley turtles have changed their nesting sites.”
In Rushikulya areas we are witnessing sporadic nesting, he added.