Olive Ridley Turtles stay away from Rushikulya river

The Olive Ridley Turtles in 2021 are staying away from the Rushikulya river. Millions of Olive Ridley turtle nest near the mouth of Rushikulya river. The nesting time of Olive Ridley turtles is between January and May. This year, they are  yet to begin their nesting. In 2020, they began nesting in March.

The turtle is known for its unique mass nesting sites called the Arribadas. During Arribadas, thousands of females come together to lay eggs on the same beach.

What is the issue?

Though some of the scientists say that this delay of nesting is normal, the conservationists are worried. This is because, the atmospheric temperature is to reach its peak in May and the sand becomes very hot. It is likely that mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles might skip this year.

The nesting of the turtles has been skipped earlier in 2002, 2007, 2016 and 2019.

Olive Ridley Nests in India

In the Indian Ocean, majority of these turtles nest near the Gahirmatha of Odisha. The coast of Odisha is one of the largest mass nesting sites of the turtles. The Gahirmatha beach is now part of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife sanctuary.

Other Nesting sites of Olive Ridley turtles

The other nesting sites of the turtles are coasts of Mexico, Costa Rica, Pacific Panama.

Protection

They have been categorised as “Vulnerable” under the IUCN Red List. The CITES has included them under Appendix I. The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 has included them under Schedule I.

Migration

These turtles migrate thousands of kilometres between feeding and mating period.

Rushikulya River

It is one of the major rivers of Odisha. It originates from Eastern Ghats and drains into Bay of Bengal.

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