India welcomes 3.55 lakh new born Olive Ridley turtles. The coast of Odisha witnessed the annual hatching of the Olive Ridley turtles this February.
The unique feature of Olive Ridley turtles is their mass nesting. The females return to the very same beach from where they first hatched, to lay their eggs. Since majority of turtles live in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, they visit India for the mass nesting. The coastline of Odisha is the largest mass nesting site, followed by Mexico and Costa Rica.
This year, these endangered species laid a record 3.55 lakh eggs within a span of one week. Generally, it takes around 45 days for them to emerge from the egg. Since the female turtles go deep into the sea, without waiting to watch the hatchlings, the forest department has arranged high security to take care of these.
Ashish Kumar Behera, the Divisional Forest Officer, Berhampur division said that the egg laying process which began on Feb 13 ended on Monday, earlier this week. He said “Olive Ridley sea turtles have laid over 3,55,000 eggs within a week of mass nesting in the Rushikulya river mouth of Ganjam coast, making an all-time record”.
He added, “We have already made all arrangements, including establishing observation camp. The coasts have been fenced with nets and have started thorough patrolling in the sea for the protection of the turtles and their eggs during the mass nesting”.
The Forest Department has restricted the entry of fishing trawlers into the zone. It has also deployed speedboats and trawlers with security officials. It will guard the coast for two months to protect the eggs of the endangered species.
Olive Ridley turtles are one of the smallest yet beautiful species on the planet. India is very keen on protecting them as its the duty of the hosts to take care of their guests.