Olive Ridleys, in their annual sojourn to Odisha coast, are yet to reach Devi river mouth for mast nesting. What is worrying the greens is that they have already laid eggs at other nesting sites like Rushikulya and Nasi Island along Gahirmatha coast.
Sources said even as in previous years, the turtles had started laying eggs in Devi river mouth since late January, this year it has been delayed by over a month owing to climatic condition, unrestricted fishing in the coast and lack of turtle protection measures.
Sources said though three lakh turtles have laid eggs at Rushikulya and 2.10 lakh in Nasi islands so far this year, mass nesting has not started at Devi river mouth.
Environmentalists and wildlife experts said the mood and pattern of mass nesting of Olive Ridleys has remained a mystery. Although there was a large congregation of these endangered turtles in the sea near the Devi river mouth for mating, they are yet to come over to the beach for mass nesting. Wildlife experts apprehended that the endangered turtles might skip visiting Devi river mouth this year as with change in weather condition, the sea is getting rougher and coastal erosion is on the rise.
Environmentalist Amar Prasad Mohanty said global warming and subsequent change of weather and use of trawlers for fishing are the primary reasons behind delay in mass nesting at Devi river mouth.
DFO of Rajnagar forest division Manoj Kumar Mohapatra also said delay in turtle nesting is because of the prevailing climatic condition. “We are expecting that Olive Ridleys may turn up at Devi river mouth within a fortnight,” he said.