Olive Ridley turtles appear in Gahirmatha for mass nesting

Mar 09, 2018, 11:53 IST | PTI

Nearly one lakh female olive ridley sea turtles have turned up on the tranquil nesting ground of the Gahirmatha beach off the Bay of Bengal

Olive Ridley

Nearly one lakh female olive ridley sea turtles have turned up on the tranquil nesting ground of the Gahirmatha beach off the Bay of Bengal, forest officials said today. The turtles are seen at the beach, the world's largest rookery of these species, for mass nesting for the past 24 hours and dug out nests to lay eggs, they said.

After laying eggs, the marine animals are spotted loitering around the beach before leaping back to the sea. The mass nesting process begins after the day break and continues till the wee hours. The mass nesting is expected to continue for at least five to six more days. By the time it would end, the number of marine visitors to the Nasi - 1 and Nasi - 2 islands of the Gahirmatha beach would go up manifold, they said. Last year about 6.04 lakh turtles crawled their way to the Gahirmatha beach for mass nesting, they said.

Forest officials are of the view that with the climatic condition being conducive and beach topography ideal, the turn out of these marine creatures would rise manifold in coming days. As Nasi-1 and Nasi-2 Islands are located in close proximity to the Defence Research Development Organisation's defence installation at Wheeler's Island, no outsider is permitted to witness the mass nesting. About 50 forest personnel have been deployed at the beach to keep vigil and ensure safe and undisturbed mass nesting of the turtles, said officials.

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