Aid for Olive Ridleys

Updated on May 19, 2004 05:10 PM IST

Wrought with dangers of erosion, the Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings in Orissa find themselves at the losing end of the fight for survival.

HT Image
HT Image

Each year between the months of March and May, around a hundred thousand female Olive Ridley sea turtles converge to the Rushikulya rookery to lay eggs on the coast of the eastern state of Orissa in India. Only a few thousand hatchlings survive the journey back to the ocean. Wrought with multiple dangers of predation, erosion and desiccation, the turtle hatchlings find themselves at the losing end of the fight for survival.

The mass nesting, arribada, happened between March 10 and 15 this year but it also resulted in thousands of nests being exposed to dangers of plunder and erosion. More than 100 nests were being plundered daily by jackals and dogs. A few thousands were washed away or inundated due to beach erosion. Recent developmental activities at this rookery have threatened adult females as well as their eggs and hatchlings. Artificial illumination from adjacent areas is the biggest threat as a result of which many of the hatchlings get disoriented and move away from the natural beach and get stranded and die due to desiccation.

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) supported Mr Basudev Tripathy, who initiated and implemented the Rapid Action Project to save the sea turtle nests and hatchlings, which was completed within six months.

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