Olive Ridleys Arrive In Odisha’s Gahirmatha For Sporadic Nesting

Kendrapada: Hundreds of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have started arriving at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha’s Kendrapada district, for sporadic nesting, which is an indication that the mass nesting would begin within a month.

According to sources, hundreds of turtles are currently mating on the surface of the seawater. Around 20 turtles laid eggs at Nasi-1 and Nasi-2 islands within Gahirmatha marine sanctuary on Saturday night and more are yet to arrive.

Hatcheries have been set up at Agarnasi, Pentha, Madali, and Babubali beaches by the forest department where the guards are collecting eggs from pits and putting them in hatcheries that have been covered with plastic nets.

“Forest personnel are on high alert to protect the turtles and their eggs from predators like dogs, jackals, wild boars, and birds,” Gahirmatha Forest Range officer Manas Das told media.

Meanwhile, officials of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) have switched off bright lights at the integrated missile testing centre at the nearby Abdul Kalam island for the safe arrival of the turtles.

Notably, the government has banned fishing in Gahirmatha for seven months from November 1, 2022, to May 31 this year to save the endangered marine species.

It is pertinent to mention here that 5,01,157 turtles laid eggs at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary from March 25 to 28, 2022.

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