Olive Ridley turtles Current Affairs - 2019

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Bahuda Rookery: Another Olive Ridley Nesting Site in Odisha

Gahirmatha marine sanctuary and Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district are main Olive Ridley Nesting sites in Odisha. Of these sites, Gahirmatha marine sanctuary is largest rookery (mass nesting site) of Olive Ridley turtles. Odisha is home to 50% of the total world’s population of Olive Ridleys and about 90% of Indian population of sea turtles. Recently, Odisha forest department added another olive ridley mass nesting site Bahuda Rookery at beach on Bahuda river mouth in Ganjam district. It is located around 20 km to south of Rushikulya rookery coast.

Olive Ridley

Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is smallest and most abundant of all sea turtle found in world. It gets its name from its olive coloured carapace, which is heart-shaped and rounded. It is best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach each year to lay eggs.

It is found in warm waters of Pacific and Indian oceans. They are found along both-eastern and western coasts of India. It spends entire lives in ocean and migrates thousands of kilometers between feeding and mating grounds in course of a year.

Breeding season

Olive Ridley turtles commence their journey from Indian Ocean towards Bay of Bengal during their mating season in October and November every year. A single female can lay upto 100 to 150 eggs in a pit dug on beaches. Six weeks later these eggs hatches and newly hatched turtles start journey to their Indian Ocean habitat.

Threats

Accidental killing of adult turtles through entanglement in trawl nets and gill nets due to uncontrolled fishing during their mating season around nesting beaches. Poaching for meat, shell and leather, and their eggs. Development and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports and tourist centres.

Protection Status

Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years. It is included in Vulnerable category by the IUCN Red list. In India, it is protected under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Moreover, trading in its products are banned under CITES.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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Breeding season of Olive Ridleys begin in Odisha

Olive Ridley turtles have started arriving in large at Gahirmatha beach in Odisha’s Kendrapara district for breeding season. Gahirmatha beach is known as world’s largest rookery of this species.

During the breeding season, large numbers of turtles arrive at Gahirmatha beach for mating. Later, they scale sand slope in large numbers to lay eggs in January and February. In 2016-17 season, around 9.75 lakh Olive Ridley turtles came out from sea to lay eggs along Odisha coast.

Olive Ridley

Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is smallest and most abundant of all sea turtle found in world. It gets its name from its olive coloured carapace, which is heart-shaped and rounded. It is found in warm waters of Pacific and Indian oceans.

It spends entire lives in ocean and migrates thousands of kilometers between feeding and mating grounds in course of a year. Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years. It is recognized as Vulnerable by IUCN Red list. In India, it is protected under Wildlife (Protection) Act.

The breeding season of Olive Ridley turtle commences its journey from Indian Ocean towards Bay of Bengal during their mating season in October and November every year. A single female can lay upto 100 to 150 eggs in a pit dug on beaches. The destination for majority of turtles for laying egg is Gahirmatha in Odisha. The sandy stretches of Hope Island of Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary also have turned into a breeding area. Six weeks later these eggs hatches and newly hatched turtles start  journey to their Indian Ocean habitat.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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