Puducherry

Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings let out into sea in Puducherry

The first batch of Olive Ridley hatchlings let out into sea in Narambai village near Puducherry

The first batch of Olive Ridley hatchlings let out into sea in Narambai village near Puducherry   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

The first batch of 240 hatchlings were released on Friday, in a joint initiative by the Forest Department and youth volunteers, as part of conservation efforts of the species

The first batch of 240 Olive Ridley hatchlings were let out into the sea in Narambai near here on Friday, in a joint initiative by the Forest Department and youth volunteers as part of conservation efforts of the species.

The Forest Department collected about 10,300 eggs laid by turtles since mid-January, with the help of youth volunteers and kept them at temporary hatcheries in Narambai and Pudukuppam for safe hatching.

Classified as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Olive Ridley turtles visit the Puducherry coast from January to March for laying eggs.

“The conservation programme started a few years ago to protect and release the turtles into the sea after the breeding season. A total of 21 nests are ready and the department will release them into the sea as and when the eggs start hatching,” said a Forest Department official.

The staff of the Forest Department along with youth volunteers also reach out to the fishing community to create awareness among people about collecting and protecting the turtle eggs till they are hatched. Over the years, several volunteers from the fishing community have joined the drive to collect the eggs and protect them, the official added.

A significant portion of the world’s Olive Ridley population migrates every winter from the Southern Indian ocean to Odisha for mass nesting. The coastline of Puducherry is used as a migratory route by these sea turtles listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. About 60-400 km stretch of the coast of Puducherry is largely used by migratory sea turtles from October to April every year.

According to a report of the Wildlife Institute of India, the Puducherry beach habitat was critical for the recovery and maintenance of threatened Olive Ridley turtle populations.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 3:55:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/olive-ridley-turtle-hatchlings-let-out-into-sea-in-puducherry/article30998886.ece

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