Olive Ridley turtles have arrived to nest near the mouth of the Rushikulya River, about 50 kilometers from Berhampur in Ganjam District. According to forest officials, mass nesting of sea turtles has begun in the last few days on the four-kilometer stretch of beach at Posampeta under Palibandha Gram Panchayat.
Thousands of Olive Ridley turtles have emerged from the sea, signaling the start of the endangered marine species’ annual mass nesting season. Interestingly, the mass nesting, which will continue for a few days, was observed after a two-year hiatus.
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According to sources, over 1.5 lakh Olive Ridley turtles laid eggs on the first day of their mass nesting.
To protect the eggs, an elaborate security arrangement has been put in place at the beach. The entire site has been fenced to prevent the entry of wild dogs, jackals, and other predators. The entire beach has been monitored by CCTV cameras.
Olive Ridley turtles spend hours digging holes on the beach with their front flippers. They then use their hind flippers to scoop out sand to form a cavity. They lay 40-50 eggs in each hole before covering it with sand again.
The turtles then return to the sea, leaving behind eggs that hatch after 40-60 days. This year’s hatchlings are expected to emerge from the eggs in May.