The endangered Olive Ridley turtles have laid a record 3.55 lakh eggs in the coast of Odisha within a span of one week, an official said Monday, adding the figure could touch four lakh mark this year.
“Over 3,55,000 eggs have been laid by Olive Ridley sea turtles within a week of mass nesting in Rushikulya river mouth of Ganjam coast, which is an all-time record. The turtles had laid 3,09,000 eggs last year,” Ashish Kumar Behera, the divisional forest officer in Berhampur division, told IANS.
He said the egg laying may touch four lakh this year as the Sunday night calculation was yet to be completed.
“The egg laying that began on February 13 is likely to end on Monday,” he said.
The Odisha Forest Department has arranged high security for smooth and safe egg laying of the endangered turtles, the official said.
“We have already made all arrangements, including establishing observation camps, fencing coast with nets and patrolling in sea for protection of the sea turtles and their eggs during their mass nesting,” said Behera.
The Forest Department has deployed speedboats and trawlers with staff to guard the coast and restricted entry of fishing trawlers into the zone.
After laying eggs, the female turtles go deep into the sea without waiting to see the hatchels, which generally emerge around 45 days of nesting.