Focus: GS-III: Environment and Biodiversity
2.45 lakh Olive Ridley sea turtles crawled ashore on the Nasi-II beach of the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary along the Odisha coast for laying eggs, marking one of the largest opening day arrivals of turtles at the site.
Olive Ridley Turtles
- The Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is a medium-sized species of sea turtle found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
- In the Indian Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest in two or three large groups at Rushikulya rookery near Gahirmatha in Odisha.
- The coast of Odisha in India is the largest mass nesting site for the olive ridley, followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica.
- The species is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List, Appendix 1 in CITES, and Schedule 1 in Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Special feature: Mass nesting
- best known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers, termed Arribadas.
- Females return to the very same beach from where they first hatched, to lay their eggs.
- Lay their eggs in conical nests about one and a half feet deep which they laboriously dig with their hind flippers.
- Hatch in 45 to 60 days, depending on the temperature of the sand and atmosphere during the incubation period.
Source – The Hindu