India: Thousands of endangered turtles nest on beach
Beginning on Monday night, some 20,000 endangered Olive Ridley turtles stormed a beach in the Indian state of Orissa to lay their eggs. This year’s nesting began nearly a month later than last year, but this is not unusual, says a report in the Times of India.
Unusual or not, late nesting means more eggs will die due to beach erosion that takes place during the summer, according to an article by ANI. Ports, terminals and offshore oil drilling also threaten the turtles’ survival.
“Every year, almost 8,000-10,000 Olive Ridleys die. However, the nesting is going on and this time around 2 to 3 lakh [lakh = 100,000] Olive Ridleys have come to the beach to nest. Unfortunately, the size of the Olive Ridleys is decreasing year by year. We are seeing much smaller Olive Ridleys than 10-15 years ago,” Biswajit Mohanty, coordinator of the turtle conservation group Operation Kachhapa.
The turtles swam in from the Bay of Bengal to lay their eggs near the mouth of the Rushikulya River, which is considered a relatively safe place for the turtles to nest due to the absence of large fishing trawlers.
Check out this video report of the Olive Ridleys nesting by ITN:
by Graham Land