Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Particulars of the Olive Ridley species
Mains level: Conservations measures
- The Odisha forest department is all set to add another olive ridley mass nesting site to its wildlife.
New Mass Nesting Site
- Odisha forest department has started preparing the beach at the Bahuda river mouth in Ganjam district to lure the endangered turtles to come over for mass nesting next year.
- Around 3-km stretch of the beach from Sunapur to Anantpur at Bahuda rookery is being developed as a possible olive ridley mass nesting site.
- The Bahuda rookery is located around 20 km to the south of Rushikulya rookery coast, a major mass nesting site of olive ridleys on the Indian coastline.
- This year, a few hundred olive ridleys had nested at Bahuda river mouth in February.
- This encouraged the forest department to develop it as a second mass nesting site for the turtles on the Ganjam coast.
- It is being hoped that the turtles will find the beach conducive and their mass nesting number at Bahuda will increase in 2019.
- 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
- They can also be found in warm waters of Atlantic ocean.
- Olive ridley turtles are best known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers, termed arribadas.
- Interestingly, females return to the very same beach from where they first hatched, to lay their eggs.
- They lay their eggs in conical nests about one and a half feet deep which they laboriously dig with their hind flippers.
- In the Indian Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest in two or three large groups 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.
- In 1991, over 600,000 turtles nested along the coast of Odisha in one week. Nesting occurs elsewhere along the Coromandel Coast and Sri Lanka, but in scattered locations.
- However, olive ridleys are considered a rarity in most areas of the Indian Ocean.