Olive Ridley Turtles mass nesting begins in Odisha coast

Berhampur:  A record number of over 3 lakh Olive Ridley turtles have laid eggs in Odisha coast within a span of only one week, officials said on Wednesday.

This time the turtles mostly laid their eggs near the river Rushikulya mouth in Ganjam district, about 60 km from here.

The mass nesting of turtles began in Rushikulya river mouth on February 13. Last year, the turtles had congregated for mass nesting at the Rushikulya beach on February 29.

While around 2.60 lakh turtles had laid eggs in the Rushikulya rookery in 2008-09. Last year, 1.07 lakh turtles nested the beach.

"This time, they broke the previous record and over three lakh Olive Ridley Turtles laid eggs so far," said divisional forest officer, Berhampur S S Mishra.

Despite rains lashed in the area on Sunday evening,over 8,700 Olive Ridley turtles laid eggs in the wee hours of Monday, he said.

Since some more turtles were floating in the sea, DFO said the nesting was likely to continue for some more days.

The Olive Ridleys, listed under Schedule 1 of the endangered species list, nested in two places this time. While around 2.50 lakh were nested in the 3.50-km long Sandbar between Kantiagada and Podampeta, another 50,000 turtles nested near Purunabandh area, he said.

Mass nesting of the Olive ridley started followed by the sporadic nesting in the area.