UDUPI : Local residents of Kanchugodu village, near the seashore at Maravanthe, sighted this season’s maiden collection of Olive Ridley turtle eggs on March 15. The time of the sighting was in tandem with the behavioural pattern of these sea turtles.
A team of local residents-Ganapathi Kharvi, Shekar Kharvi, Vinod, Manju B and others-who are known as sea turtle watchers, found a nest while taking a stroll on the seashore looking for turtle tracks. The team collected 101 eggs from the nest and shifted them to a hatchery at Maravanthe maintained by Field Services and Inter Cultural Learning (FSL) India, an NGO in Kundapur.
“This is the first collection of eggs in the region this season,” said Ganapathi Kharvi, hoping for a good nesting season. He said the turtles visited the shore between 2 am and 5 am. Hence, he has appealed to fishermen engaged in shore line fishing, to take out the nets after 5 am to avoid disturbing the turtles during nesting season. Last season, turtle watchers could not sight any Olive Ridley turtles. The Maravanthe seashore is the preferred destination of the turtles. Watchers could not sight eggs during the previous seasons in the area.
Senior programme manager of FSL India Venkatesh Sheregar said that the eggs were sighted on March 15. “We have a team of locals to guard a 6km stretch of the seashore in Maravanthe and send the eggs to a hatchery. We have fenced the ditch, where the eggs have been placed. After about 55 days they will hatch. Those eggs need to be kept just a metre away from the waves, as ants will not eat the eggs due to the saline content in the sand.