Marakkanam hatchery handles 19,000 turtle eggs

Unit claims it a record; officials say more eggs are in hatchery; hatchlings will be ready for release by this week

Published: 04th May 2018 02:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2018 06:58 AM   |  A+A-

Turtle eggs in a nest under the watchful eyes of environmental activists | Express

Express News Service

VILLUPURAM: The Marakkanam turtle hatchery is claiming to have posted a record by handling 19,672 turtle eggs and releasing the hatchlings into the sea in a single season in the east coast region of the Bay of Bengal.

Refusing to rest on the oars, officials said that more eggs are in the hatchery; and the hatchlings will be ready for release by this week.  

The record will be confirmed by the Union forest department after verifying the details. The Villupuram district department set up two hatcheries at Vasavankuppam village, by covering it with a bamboo fence, to prevent dogs and jackals from eating the eggs, which are left unguarded on the shore by mother turtles.
As the sea shore happened to be close to residential areas, the mother turtles had to live with human interventions. Stealing of the eggs for cooking by the locals are also reported. This year, 171 turtles came to the shore to lay 19,672 eggs.

The season starts between December and March.   Turtles leave the shore after laying the eggs and the hatchlings reach their natural habitation -- sea -- by their own.

A 20-member team, set up by the district administration, collects the eggs and takes them to the hatchery immediately after the turtle leaves for the sea after laying the eggs, numbering more than 150.
The hatchlings are released into the sea by the team, comprising eight locals and the forest department staff, who are working as volunteers.

Periyanan, Tindivanam first ranger, told Express that more than 10,000 eggs are preserved in hatcheries at Vasavankuppam.

Except from 10 pits, the hatchlings came out from 160 pits. The hatchlings will be ready for release in the remaining pits by this week, he added.

Every year, 150 turtles visit the Marakanam area. Last year, 16,630 eggs were preserved and the same number of hatchlings were released into the sea. The sea shore from Azhagankuppam to Anichankuppam is the favourite breeding place for olive ridley turtles, which even come from Africa. At the hatchery, the eggs are stored in a 2-feet pit. Within 55 days, hatchlings come out and are guided to the sea safely by the team.

Marakanam, situated in the northeastern corner of Villupuram district, is a vital ecological spot.
The Kalveli wetland is selected by lakhs of birds from Europe, Africa and South Asian countries for breeding.

Human intervention

The Villupuram district department set up two hatcheries at Vasavankuppam village, by covering it with a bamboo fence, to prevent dogs and jackals from eating the eggs, which are left unguarded on the shore by mother turtles. As the sea shore happened to be close to residential areas, the mother turtles had to live with human interventions. Stealing of the eggs for cooking by the locals are also reported. This year, 171 turtles came to the shore to lay 19,672 eggs.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp