Odishatv Bureau

Ganjam: Thousands of Olive Ridley turtles have returned to the Rushikulya river mouth for the second time this season, indicating a change in their nesting pattern.

According to reports, around 10,000 sea turtles have joined the second phase mass nesting at the beach since Wednesday keeping forest officials on their toes.

Earlier during the first phase that began on February 20, more than 4 lakh sea turtles had laid eggs. The turtle hatchlings from this phase of nesting started their seaward journey from this week.

Forest officials informed that recurrence of mass nesting is quite unnatural. Such changes in the normal breeding pattern was last witnessed during 2006 and 2012.

“We have to make more efforts to take care of the egg nests and also monitor the release of the baby turtles after two months,” Rabindranath Sahu, Secretary of Rushikulya Kaincha Surakhya Samiti said.

“A detailed research into the behaviour and survival rate of the baby turtles after being released into the sea over a period of five to ten years might help us understand the exact reason behind such changes,” Ganjam DFO Asish Behera Ganjam said.