KENDRAPARA: Sporadic nesting of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles has started at Gahiramatha beach in the district. Around 20 turtles have laid eggs in the last two days at Nasi- 1 island in the beach, said Forest Range Officer of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary Debashis Bhoi on Tuesday.
Forest personnel are on high alert as more turtles will arrive at the site to lay eggs in the coming days. In order to protect the eggs from predators like dogs, jackals, boars and birds, the Forest department has set up hatcheries at Aagarnasi, Pentha and Babubali in the beach. The eggs, which have already been laid, are being collected by forest guards from the pits in the hatcheries which are covered with plastic nets to prevent the entry of any predator, said Bhoi. He said 15 turtle protection camps including three offshore ones have been set up at Agaranashi, Barunei and Babubali islands.
Sporadic nesting of turtles indicate that mass-nesting of turtles would start earlier this year. As per official sources, last year, 4.70 lakh Olive Ridley sea turtles had nested from February 26 to March 7 on Nasi-1 and Nasi- 2 islands. The nesting of sea turtles is one of nature’s most amazing spectacles.
Officials of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) had recently put off bright lights at the integrated missile testing centre at Abdul Kalam island for the safe arrival of turtles at Gahiramatha. The artificial lightning on the missile test range disoriented hatching turtles and adult females in ways that can be deadly.
Forest personnel are on high alert as more turtles will arrive at the site to lay eggs in the coming days
15 turtle protection camps, including three offshore ones, have been set up at Agaranashi, Barunei and Babubali islands
Eggs, which have already been laid, collected by forest guards from pits in hatcheries
Sporadic nesting of turtles indicate that mass-nesting of turtles would start earlier this year