After Gahirmatha, turtles turn for mass nesting at Rushikulya

Berhampur: The much waited mass nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtle near river Rushikulya mouth off Ganjam coast started in the early hours of on Friday.

An estimated 20,000 turtles climbed ashore to lay eggs in the three-km long stretch from Gokharakuda to Podampeta, divisional forest officer (Berhampur) A K Jena said.

The mass nesting of the Olive Ridley was followed by the sporadic nesting in the rookery, considered as the second largest after Gahiramatha in Kendrapara district.

The mass nesting of the Olive Ridley stared in the river Rushikulya mouth rookery on time and was expected to continue for some more days, he said.

The forest department has taken measures for the safe and smooth nesting of the Olive Ridley turtles in the rookery.

Elaborating on the measures, he said the entire area from Purunabandh to Gokharakuda, about 5-km long was divided into 40 sectors and in each sector the forest personnel and local volunteers were deployed for counting and protecting the eggs.

Besides the river Rushikulya river mouth, the other two nesting sites- Devi river mouth in Puri district and Gahiramatha are the famous mass nesting sites for the Olive Ridley turtles in the state.

Though the turtles have begun mass nesting at Gahiramatha and Rushikulya, they are yet to turn to Devi river mouth river rookery, the sources said.