Mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles begins at Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary


Kendrapara: Mass nesting of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles has begun at the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in Kendrapada district with as many as 6,000 turtles laying eggs just in one day.

According to reports, around 200 sea turtles joined in the mass nesting process on February 5 evening while the number increased to 5,640 on February 6.

Notably, the mass nesting process was delayed this year at Gahirmatha compared to previous years.

With the beginning of turtles’ mass nesting, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has switched off the high-power lights installed for coastal security surveillance from its Wheelers Island missile test range centre, which is located close to the turtles’ nesting ground.

The Forest Department has also tightened the security for the mass nesting at the Gahirmatha beach. A team led by a Range Officer and comprising an officer in the Deputy Ranger rank, a Forester and 20 security personnel has been deployed to guard the nesting points.

The administration has also banned fishing activities inside the marine sanctuary deploying three trawlers and three more boats to keep vigil on fishermen’s movement.

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