Against risk, from all sides

Updated - June 13, 2016 11:13 am IST

Published - March 11, 2013 12:20 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

A kite snaps up a Olive ridley hatchling from the sea off Visakhapatnam beach. Photo: K.R. Deepak

A kite snaps up a Olive ridley hatchling from the sea off Visakhapatnam beach. Photo: K.R. Deepak

With human habitation extending up to the shoreline Oliver Ridley turtles find it difficult to find deserted sand dunes to nest.

Further, there is also an increased risk of predators like dogs lurking around waiting to dig up the nest and prey on the eggs.

The expanding urban sprawls have occupied otherwise deserted spots like Hope Island in Kakinada. Today these spots are no longer safe for the turtles for nesting, it would be nice if we could leave the vast stretches of sand on Hope Island only for these wild animals, Principal Conservator of Forests Wildlife and Chief Wildlife Warden A.V. Joseph said.

In areas where there are vast stretches of empty sand and large number of turtles turn up for nesting the Forest Department is able to promote in-situ hatching by ringing up the nests, protecting it from predators and monitoring them.

The hatchlings are then helped return to sea.

The biggest problem for these lung-breathing creatures is that they get trapped in the fishing nets of trawlers.

In fact the Coast Guard is supporting us by carrying out regular inspection of trawler nets and enforcing the fishers to add the TEDs to the nets.

The hatchlings that enter the sea face the risk of falling prey to predators like kites.

It would take a few hours for the hatchlings to get acclimatised and start living by themselves, Mr Joseph said.

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