According to the reports, mass nesting of the Olive Ridley turtles has finally began in Pondicherry coastline. Though, the traditional migration season of the turtles has delayed possibly due to climate change or change in the climatic conditions because of the influence of Cyclones Nivar and Burevi. Now, the female Olive Ridley turtles are leaving hundreds of eggs at nesting spots. So far, the team has collected over 4000 eggs.
- Pondicherry coastline is among the migratory route to Odisha which are used by these turtles.
- The Pondicherry coastline is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
The scientific name of the turtle is Lepidochelys olivacea. It is commonly known as Pacific ridley sea turtle. The species belongs to the family Cheloniidae. It is the 2nd smallest and most abundant among all the sea turtles found around the world. The turtles are found in warm and tropical waters. It is primarily found in Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. It is also found in the warm waters of Atlantic Ocean.
These turtles are best known for their unique mass nesting. The mass nesting is termed as arribada. In the process, the female turtles come together in huge number on the same beach and lay eggs. They lay their eggs in conical nests which is one and a half feet deep. The nests are laboriously dig by the turtles with their hind flippers. These turtles are carnivorous and they prey on jellyfish, sea urchins, snails, bryozoans, bivalves, tunicates, crabs and shrimp etc.
The turtles have been classified as vulnerable in the IUCN. It is also listed in Appendix I of CITES. These listings have halted the large-scale commercial exploitation and trade of the skin of turtles.
Mass Nesting of Olive Ridley begins Mass Nesting of Olive Ridley begins