Olive Ridley turtles return for mass nesting at Rushikulya

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Berhampur: In a very rare occurrence, thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtles have arrived at the Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district for mass nesting once again.

This is for the first time that the endangered sea turtles have turned up for mass nesting for a second time during summer season.

Wildlife experts and environmentalists termed this phenomenon as ‘a rare occurrence’ while some naturalists link the recurrence of mass nesting with a possible natural disaster.

More than 5,000 sea turtles arrived at the Rushikulya mouth in the early hours of Wednesday.

This year, around 4.50 lakh Olive Ridley turtles had laid eggs at Rushikulya in February. Almost three crore hatchlings have been released into the sea so far.

Such a recurrence of mass nesting was never expected during mass hatching in April on the Odisha coast, said Brahmapur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashis Behera.

Earlier, similar phenomena had occurred in 2009 and 2012 in the past one decade when the eggs laid by the turtles were not formed into hatching, he added.

The global warming is responsible for such rare occurrences of mass nesting on the Odisha coast, said Orissa Environmental Society president Sundara Narayana Patro.

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