Olive ridley turtles flock to Rushikulya for mass nesting

ANI | Updated: Feb 25, 2018 01:41 IST

Ganjam (Odisha) [India] Feb 25 (ANI): Lakhs of endangered Olive Ridley turtles flocked the Rushikulya river mouth for their annual mass nesting in Odisha's Ganjam district.

These endangered species flock the place every year from third week of February to first week of March for nesting.

Odisha is the largest mass nesting site for Oliver Ridleys in the world.

While last year more than 3.8 lakh turtles had flocked the river mouth, the number is expected to rise this year.

The State Government and the Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee have taken a number of steps to ensure that the turtles are conserved during the period.

While fishing activity is banned for almost 3 to 6 months during the period; forest officials and turtle security personnel are deployed along the coast for protection of the endangered species.

Devoid of fishing, their main source of income, most of the villagers are left in the lurch to sustain themselves.

The conservation process began in 1994, when a group of villagers took a pledge to conserve the endangered species. While earlier in 1990s, only 30,000 Ridleys would flock the beach annually, the number has increased to around 4lakh now.

The hatchlings are expected to begin after 45-50 days of nesting.

Despite a host of conservation measures, the survival rate of the endangered species remains at 1 in 1000.

Apart from Rushikulya, the endangered species visit Gahirmatha beach and the mouth of river Devi for mass nesting in Odisha. (ANI)