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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

DRDO to facilitate live webcast of Olive Ridley sea turtle nesting in Odisha

PTI  Kendrapara (Odisha), March 19, 2014
First Published: 14:30 IST(19/3/2014) | Last Updated: 14:36 IST(19/3/2014)

Defence Research and Development Organisation and Odisha's forest department will jointly live stream the annual event of the mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles in Gahirmatha nesting ground on internet.

Authorities of strategic test range centre turned down the request for installation of a transmitter by the forest department because of security-related reason.

However, the defence wing agreed to provide infrastructure and logistics for global viewing of the natural phenomenon, forest officials said.

There is sizeable congregation of Olive Ridley turtles along Gahirmatch coastal waters in Kendrapara district, said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Kedar Kumar Swain.

There are positive indications of millions of turtles turning up at the beach to lay eggs. The turtle protection patrolling vessels have traced movement of thousands of turtle within one nautical seaward distance of the Gahirmatha nesting beach.

Sea patrolling vigil has stepped close to Gahirmatha coast.

This is for the first time that web-casting of arribada or en-masse egg laying of sea turtles is being kicked off to provide global exposure to the unique natural heritage.

DRDO disallowed the forest department to install transmitter for web casting as the defence body expressed concern of security threat.

"Earlier we were planning to put in place a transmitter tower at the remote island for hassle-free web connectivity. Now web connectivity would be done the transmitter tower of the defence installation," DFO Swain said.

Idyllic Gahirmatha nesting ground, which lies along the Nasi-1 and Nasi-2 Islands, is a remote and far-flung spot. Arriving at the spot is an ardous exercise. As a result, the mass nesting phenomenon has so far remained out of bounds for tourists, visitors and researchers.

Besides, location of DRDO's test range centre in close vicinity of the nesting ground often pose major hindrance for visit to the place because of security-related factors.

Turtles are Odisha's pride possession. Web-casting would give the much-needed exposure to the marine animals. It would also boost eco-tourism prospect, he said.

Watch video: Olive Ridley Turtles - mass nesting on the beaches of Orissa, along the Bay of Bengal


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