Olive Ridley nesting activity in Odisha sees significant decline

Puri: With nesting of endangered Olive Ridley turtles on the beaches in Puri district underway, significant decline in the number of nests this breeding season has left many baffled and concerned.

While 252 nests were detected in February last year; this time round, the officials have traced eggs in only 30 nests. Concerned over the decline in nesting activity of the turtles, officials have begun a probe into the matter.

Every year, the Olive Ridley turtles lay eggs on the beaches on Devi River and Jahania under Astaranga forest range and at Kuanrpur and Chandrabhaga nesting sites under Konark forest range.

Turtle watcher at Chandrabhaga, Bhagirathi Kandi said “This year, the climate may be affecting the nesting of turtles as the number of eggs is very less.”

Meanwhile, forest officials are probing the reasons behind the decline in the number of nests. They said that the nesting activity might increase with enhanced effect of the southern winds. They are also creating awareness among the local fishermen and villagers.

“As temperature rise and there is enhanced activity of the southern winds, the nesting process may increase. We have received a few complaints for which we are conducting awareness campaigns,” said Jogendra Patra, Astaranga Forest Ranger.