Twenty-two Olive Ridley turtle nests were sighted along the Marina and Elliot’s stretches by conservation volunteers on Monday.
Akila Balu, a volunteer with Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN), said this was the first time such a large number of nests were seen along the 13-km stretch of the two beaches. While 16 nests were sighted along the shores of the Marina, six were sighted on Elliot’s beach in Besant Nagar.
Since the beginning of the nesting season in November 2013, the volunteers had spotted more dead turtles washing ashore on the beaches, than nests, said Ms. Balu.
“Yesterday’s sighting of 22 nests in a single night gave us great relief. SSTCN has been into conservation of Olive Ridley turtles for the past 26 years. But it was only yesterday such a large number of nests were seen on this stretch,” she said.
More than 100 Olive Ridley turtles were found dead on the Marina from January, this year, to the first week of February. Fewer turtles had come ashore for nesting during this period, she said.
T. Ashish, another volunteer of SSTCN, said the sighting of maximum nests on Monday night was a boost to the volunteers. They covered the coastline between Neelankarai and Marina by dividing themselves into two groups.
While one group walked from Neelankarai to the broken bridge behind Theosophical Society’s premises, the second group walked from Srinivasapuram in Foreshore Estate to Anna Square, he said.