Marking a successful nesting and hatching cycle, thousands of baby Olive Ridley turtles started to emerge from the sandy pits and crawled to the sea near the mouth of Rushikulya River in Ganjam district in Odisha.
Baby Olive Ridley turtles make their way to sea
As many as 6.37 lakh Olive Ridleys had laid eggs in a 3-km stretch from Podampeta to Bateshwar during the eight-day mass nesting from February 28.
Witnessing the amazing sight of turtle hatchlings making their way to the ocean is truly a remarkable experience that reminds us of Nature’s beauty.
The Olive Ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
According to the Indian Coast Guard, the occurrence of Olive Ridley turtles begins annually in November-December and continues until April-May.
However, the nesting phase has been observed late in the past few years. It reportedly tends to begin after mid- January or early February.
Olive Ridley turtles generally spend their entire life in the ocean. They emerge out of the water and take over a period of five to seven days to lay their eggs.
The endangered species reportedly choose estuaries and narrow beaches for laying eggs. A single adult female can lay an average of 100-110 eggs per clutch.
Only about 1 in 1,000 turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood due to various challenges and threats they face, including predation, pollution, and habitat loss.
Olive Ridley turtles are now recognised as vulnerable by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Efforts are now being made to conserve these smallest species of sea turtles.