Mass nesting of Olive Ridley in Rushikulya
Baby turtles in droves expected around April 27, 2015
It’s time to celebrate as mass nesting of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles has is over at river Rushikulya mouth in Ganjam district and hatchlings are expected to crawl to sea in droves very soon.
The endangered species have arrived in large numbers bringing much relief to turtle researchers and wildlife officials. The nature lovers who wish to witness the vent are filled with joy as the hatchlings are expected to emerge 40 days after the eggs are laid by mother turtles.
Rushikulya mouth is the second largest nesting site after Gahiramatha in Odisha. However due to defense establishments tourists are not allowed to visit Gahirmatha whereas Rushikulya is the perfect destination to witness.
In Rushikulya the turtles thronged the coasts and were seen afloat along 1 km from the beach since January last week.
Around 1, 82, 000 Olive Ridley turtles laid eggs so far as per estimate by Forest department of the state Government my March 15.
Several measures have been initiated to protect the eggs and for safe nesting along the beaches. The entire 4.5-km-long stretch of beach is divided into 33 sectors and is being fenced to prevent unauthorized entry.
Around 175 persons, including forest personnel, wildlife activists and villagers were engaged in round the clock vigil of the Olive Ridley turtles and their eggs. The protection would continue for next 50 days till the hatching takes place.
Roughly around 100-150 eggs are laid by a female turtle and the mothers desert the hatchlings before they come out of the eggs, about 45 to 50 days of the nesting.
Since turtles have laid eggs Mach 12 onwards hatchlings are expected to come out in and around April 27.
The scene in Rushikulya beach will be beautiful with hundreds of baby turtles crawling to the sea. It will be rare event and experience for visitors/tourists to witness these baby turtles.
How to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is Biju Pattnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar.
By Train: The nearest Railway Station is at Berhampur, Ganjam.
By Road: From Bhubaneswar, it is near about 130 kms.