Over 6.37 lakh endangered Olive Ridley turtles lay eggs in Odisha beach


Ganjam: The Rushikulya river mouth in Odisha’s Ganjam district has emerged as a major rookery for the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, as a record number of over 6.37 lakh turtles laid eggs on the beach during the eight day duration of mass nesting, official sources said.

Mass nesting of the turtles started on a 3-km long beach from Podampeta to Bateshwar area near the river mouth from February 23 and continued till Thursday. During the period as many as 6,37,008 turtles have laid eggs, which is 86,000 more than the previous year, said Sunny Khokkar, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Berhampur.

This time all the previous records in the rookery broke in the nesting, the DFO claimed.

Last year 5,50,317 turtles had laid eggs, while in 2018 over 4.82 lakh had laid eggs in the rookery, sources said.

“As the mother turtles did not wait to see the baby turtles, emerging from the sand pits, about 45 to 50 days after the nesting, we are taking care of the eggs and baby turtles in the absence of their mothers till they crawl into the sea,” said the DFO.

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