Record nesting of Olive Ridley turtles

April 02, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 05:43 am IST - KOLKATA

Scientists tagged over 6,000 turtles to gather information on breeding behaviour

Sea route:The tagging has revealed that Olive Ridley turtles can travel up to Sri Lanka.BISWARANJAN ROUTBISWARANJAN ROUT

Sea route:The tagging has revealed that Olive Ridley turtles can travel up to Sri Lanka.BISWARANJAN ROUTBISWARANJAN ROUT

As a record number of 4.92 lakh Olive Ridley turtles have crawled to the Rushikulya coast in Odisha, scientists have tagged more than 6,000 turtles to gather more information about their breeding behaviour and migration.

“On the Day 6 of arribada on the Rushikulya coast, we have recorded 4.92 lakh nests and are still counting. This is the highest nesting which has broken all records for the coast,” said Divisional Forest Officer, Berhampur, Amlan Nayak.

During the nesting period, scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have tagged more than one per cent of turtles that have arrived on the beach.

Ministry’s statement

On March 30, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MOEFCC) took note of both spectacular nesting at the Rushikulya rookery and the tagging of turtles. “The ZSI team is monitoring the nesting population, counting the arribada throughout the night since 26th March 2022… Around 1,200 turtles tagged every night, in the last three nights, more than 4,000 female turtles have been tagged by #ZSI,” the MOEFCC had said in a series of tweets.

Arribada is a Spanish word meaning “arrival by sea” and refers to the mass nesting behaviour exhibited by Kemp’s Ridley and Olive Ridley sea turtles.

Long distance travellers

“Before the tagging of the turtles, the information we had was that it was a migratory species. Now the tagging has revealed that the Olive Ridley turtles can travel up to Sri Lanka. Also, we came to know that the migratory turtle is present in the entire Bay of Bengal and even on the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,” Dr. Basudev Tripathi, scientist at ZSI, said.

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