Rashmi Ranjan

While the Rushikulya rookery in Odisha’s Ganjam district recorded a rise in the footfall of Olive Ridley turtles during the mass nesting season this year, Nuanai, Ramchandi, Keluni and Debi estuaries in Puri district saw a decline in laying off of eggs by the endangered species.

According to sources, Brahmagiri range and Debi River area witnessed a good number of marine guests during this season. However, the mass nesting activity plummeted in Konark and Balukanda areas in Puri.

Meanwhile, the environmentalists have blamed the illegal movement of trailers and the holding of eco-retreat at Ramachandi beach as the major reasons behind the behavioural changes.

“The number of Olive Ridley turtles went down this season due to the arrangement of eco treat programme at Chandrabhaga,” said Dr Dillip Srichandan, an environmentalist.

“The illegal movement of trailers has resulted in the declining footfall of Olive Ridley turtles. Many turtles also die after getting trapped in trailers’ net,” said PK Tatili, a fisherman.

On the other hand, Puri Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) has admitted to the fall in the numbers of Olive Ridley turtles in several regions of Puri.

“The mass nesting depends on the coast surface. While it goes down somewhere, some other parts witness a rise. While Konark region recorded a fall in the laying off of eggs, Brahmagiri range witnessed a surge. If we consider the overall region, then the mass nesting is normal,” said Uttam Gadnayak, Puri ACF.

(Reported by Sanjay Pati, OTV)