Lakhs of Olive Ridley Turtles Turn Up at Odisha’s Gahirmatha for Nesting
Approximately two lakh Olive Ridley turtles have turned up at the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in the Kendrapara district of Odisha. The turtles have gathered for mass nesting over the last 10 days. As per the official count so far, a total of 2,03,635 sea turtles have been spawning at Nasi-2 island of the Gahirmatha sanctuary.
The process of nesting started on March 8 at the sanctuary. Initially, a minimal number of these endangered turtles turned up on the first day. However, the numbers have been slowly increasing ever since.
As per reports, around 300 Olive Ridleys laid eggs on March 8, about 800 on March 9, 1250 on March 10, 7940 on March 11, 425 on March 12, 210 on March 13, 18350 on March 14, 32560 on March 15, 72600 on March 16, and 69200 on March 17.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths of Olive Ridley turtles along the state coast has come down this year owing to efforts from the forest department to protect these endangered marine species and their habitat. Around 2,575 carcasses of Olive Ridleys have been counted in the current year so far, against the 6,320 fatalities that were reported in the 2019-20 nesting season.
“The decline in the number of turtle deaths is encouraging as the forest department has been taking measures to protect the marine species,” an official said.
Notably, the Olive Ridley turtles turn up in millions for mass nesting along Odisha’s coast every year. The Gahirmatha beach in Kendrapara is known as the world’s largest nesting site for the endangered marine species. Apart from Gahirmatha, the mouths of Rushikulya and Devi river are also popular for the mass nesting of these turtles.
As per official figures, around 7.30 lakh Olive Ridleys had turned up for their annual sojourn last year.