Favourable climate and protection by nature has provided hopes that rate of hatching of Olive ridley eggs at Rushikulya rookery coast would be quite high this year.
It may be noted that Rushikulya rookery coast is one of the major mass nesting sites of Olive ridley turtles on eastern coast of India. This year mass nesting of Olive ridleys had started at this coast from February 12 .
According to Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) S.S.Mishra, this year around three lakh mother Olive ridleys have laid eggs at this coast. The mass nesting had continued for around a week and on February 15 mass nesting had also occurred during day time which was unique.
Strike by ground level forest personnel has not affected ‘watch and vigil’ of these three lakh Olive ridley nests at this large stretch of beach, said Berhampur DFO. It may be noted that forest staff under the banner of Odisha Non-Gazetted Forest Services Association are continuing strike since past two weeks. According to Mr. Mishra nature has also provided some help for protection of these large numbers of turtle nests at Rushikulya rookery coast. This year largest number of mass nesting has occurred on a 3.2 km. long sand bar between Purunabandha and Gokharkuda. This sand bar is completely detached from the main coast. Due to it the eggs laid on this sand bar are protected from predators as well as human interference.
Nature has till date helped the incubation of eggs in the Olive ridley nests buried under the sand.