High on tiger, Orissa forgets its turtles | india | Hindustan Times
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High on tiger, Orissa forgets its turtles

The Orissa government is livid, because the Tiger census puts the number of tigers in that state between 12 and 34 and suggests there are likely just 23 of these beasts left.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2011 01:19 IST
Bharti Chaturvedi

The Orissa government is livid, because the tiger census puts the number of tigers in that state between 12 and 34 and suggests there are likely just 23 of these beasts left. Orissa believes there are more.

What Orissa doesn’t realise is that it’s own credibility about conservation has taken a blow over the years because of way it has neglected the needs of the endangered Olive Ridley Turtles.

These globe-trotting creatures reproduce from March to late April. Over a lakh and a half turtles have already laid their eggs, which are expected to hatch in late April, in Orissa, not far from the site of the Dhamra port. The Olive Ridleys hatch only in three places in the world-Mexico, Spain and in India, most specifically, on the sands of Orissa. But clearly, they have not been accorded privileged status as the Dhamra port has not been cancelled.

Environmentalists have repeatedly explained the irreversible damage to the turtles, but there has been no significant action. If anything, there is clear indication of how low bio-diversity figures in Orissa’s own official priorities.

While the range of tigers makes the survey meaningless in the state, the protests seem shallow, because in the background, other animals remain starkly neglected. How can we trust the government to have conserved bio-diversity?

Wanted Alive : Andamans Corals
Divers in the Andamans were shocked last week. The magnificent corals comprising “The Wall”, at Havelock Island, were showing signs of being damaged.

Instead of the soft colours and velvety texture, they saw only a pale calcium skeleton. Climate change is being blamed, and indeed, in Australia, with a rich coral reef, similar losses have been observed.

In other places, a large colony of corals were swept away by a fierce storm. Considering the area experiences storms routinely, murmurs about freak weather activities-another climate change phenomenon-circulated. The story from under the seas sends a sombre warning signal about our irreplaceable losses.