This video from India says about itself:
7 Wonders of India: Olive Ridley Sea Turtles
Found in the Indian Ocean along the Bay of Bengal is Orissa. Average weight of the turtles is just over 100 lb (up to 50 kgs). They have a high-domed shell, with a carapace length of only 30 inches (70 cms). Olive Ridleys are omnivorous, feeding on crabs, shrimp, rock lobsters, sea grasses, snails, fish, sessile, pelagic tunocates [sic; tunicates] and small invertebrates.
The Orissa coast is one of the three sites worldwide where mass nesting of the Olive Ridley Turtle occurs. This sea turtle is especially known for its mass nesting when several thousand turtles migrate to the breeding ground to mate and nest simultaneously. Hindu mythology worships sea turtles as an incarnation of one of their gods. Over the past five years, sea turtles have suffered mass mortality along the Orissa coast due to death by drowning as incidental catch in trawl – fishing nets. About 5,000 to 10,000 dead turtles have been washed ashore each year, a total of over 1,00,000 in the last 10 years.
From Orissa Diary in India:
Orissa sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates sand sculpture to save Olive Ridley turtle
The Orissa coast is the one of the main mass nesting center in the world map for the Olive Ridley turtle since time immemorial.
One of the good news is that an estimated 1.8 lakh female Olive Ridley turtles have so far arrived en-masse to lay eggs, a unique natural phenomenon, at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Kendrapara district. The hatching takes place about 30 to 40 days after the nesting and the babies emerge out of their respective nests and start their journey towards the sea without their mothers.
International sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik today created awareness campaign through his sand sculpture at Puri beach. He has created many sandy eggs from which hatching takes place and a mother turtle giving message “Save my baby”. Pattnaik said since the olive Ridley turtles arrived from miles to our place for laying eggs, so we should protect their eggs for baby turtles. So we can save our wildlife. Sudarsan used 30 tones of sands and took 8 hours to create this sculpture.
Olive Ridley nesting at peril – The Hindu: here.
USA: beach rescues of cold-stunned sea turtles: here.
Indian Ocean tuna rules a joke: here.
Indian poachers cross the line, protect birds: here.
10 March 2010 – 08H30
Malaysian turtles face extinction: WWF
AFP – Conservationists warned Wednesday that Malaysians’ voracious appetite for turtle eggs could drive the marine creatures to extinction on its shores.
Turtle eggs are sold openly in markets in parts of Malaysia. Turtles once arrived in their thousands to lay eggs on Malaysian beaches, but are now increasingly rare due to poaching and coastal development.
Environmental group WWF released a report saying that hundreds of thousands of turtle eggs are eaten in Malaysia every year, despite campaigns to get them off the menu.
“One of the contributing factors to the leatherback turtles’ disappearance from our shores is egg consumption. We wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to our green and hawksbill turtles,” said WWF-Malaysia executive director Dionysius S.K. Sharma.
The report commissioned by WWF-Malaysia and prepared by TRAFFIC Southeast Asia showed that the market demand for turtle eggs exceeded supply.
It estimated that 422,000 eggs were traded in the northeastern state of Terengganu alone in 2007, more than twice the number of green turtle eggs laid in the state, and that eggs were being brought in from outside to meet demand.
It said that contrary to popular belief, most consumers consider turtle eggs a “delicacy” and eat them for pleasure, not as a source of protein or for reputed medicinal or aphrodisiac effects.
“A change in attitude and behaviour is needed to turn the tide if we want to ensure the survival of turtles,” Sharma said.
Conservationists have urged the government to impose a nationwide ban on the consumption and commercial sale of turtle eggs.
Sharma said that some 10,000 leatherback turtles nested in Terengganu every year in the 1950s but that this had been reduced to just 10 a year at present.
Olive Ridley turtles begin nesting at second Orissa beach
Updated on Monday, March 15, 2010, 13:25 IST
Bhubaneswar: Thousands of Olive Ridley turtles crawled ashore from the Bay of Bengal Monday, after a month’s delay, at the Rushikulya beach in Orissa’s Ganjam district to lay their eggs, an official said.
Rushikulya beach, about 175 km from here, is one of the three mass nesting sites in the state. Turtle lovers and experts were worried, since mass nesting had occurred here Feb 14 last year.
“More than three thousand turtles climbed ashore today for mass nesting,” Divisional Forest Officer AK Jena said.
“The turtles began mass nesting at around 1.00 a.m. and continued during the early hours,” Biswajit Mohanty, coordinator of the turtle conservation group Operation Kachhapa, said from the site.
“Hundreds of female turtles were seen digging pits to lay their eggs,” he said. “Due to late nesting, most eggs are expected to be lost as beach erosion takes place in the summer.”
“High waves and fierce winds are expected to destroy the nesting beaches exposing the eggs to water, leading to loss of lakhs of eggs,” Mohanty said.
“If nesting would have taken place by the first fortnight of February, the beach would not have been eroded before hatching leading to survival of more eggs,” he said.
“Several irreversible threats also now loom over the sea turtles in the state, including ports, oil terminals and offshore oil drilling,” he said.
“The expansion of the Gopalpur port into a large port may lead to beach erosion at Rushikulya and loss of nesting grounds in the future, unless mitigation measures are adopted,” Mohanty warned.
The two other nesting sites in the state are along the Nasi Islands in Gahirmatha in the district of Kendrapada and the Devi river mouth in Puri.
While mass nesting started in the Nasi Islands last month it has not yet started at the Devi river mouth.
Turtle lovers are surprised in the year of 2010 as the vulnerable Olive Ridleyâ€™s visited the beaches of Gahirmatha en-masse for their annual nesting, in two consecutive phases. In March, over 1.87 lakh turtles had come for nesting at their favourite place at Gahirmatha. They returned randomly for second time and congregated at the south-eastern part of Nasi-2 Island. As per the reports issued by forest officials, the second phase commenced on the night of March 20th and 1.7 lakh turtles were arrived on that night.
For information – â€œNever before, turtles have reappeared in Gahirmatha in such large number for a second phase of mass nesting. Turtles\’ preference for Gahirmatha beach is indeed a significant development for conservation of these aquatic animals that enjoy threatened status equal to that of royal Bengal tigers in the country, said Prasanna Kumar Behera, divisional forest officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) division.â€
You can also visit the following links to get more in details:
Wire fencing in Nasi island to protect Olive Ridley eggs
Kendrapada, Mar 25 :In a bid to prevent canines straying into the Nasi II island of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary from feasting on the eggs of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles, the forest officials have started iron fencing at the nesting ground.
DFO of Rajnagar Mangrove and wildlife Division Manoj Kumar Mohapatra said during low tide period dogs generally stray from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Wheeler’s Island to the golden beaches of Nasi II island.
After crossing the waterbodies, the dogs arrive at the Nasi island to eat the turtle eggs. As a result, a major percentage of laid eggs were destroyed by the predator.
He said the forest officials have installed 800 meter of iron fencing at Nasi II Island to protect the turtle eggs from the predators. The forest personnel were also engaged to guard the nesting grounds to protect the turtle eggs from predators like crows and eagles, the DFO said.
Apart from Nasi II island, the forest personnel have also set up three artificial hatcheries at Agarnashi, Ekakula and Akash Diha under Gahirmatha to hatch nearly 450 eggs in the hatchery.
An estimated 3.60 lakh endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles arrived for mass nesting this year from February 26 to March 7 at the tranquil Nasi II (south Nasi) beach of Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary to lay eggs.
The female turtles tend to move towards the beaches in large synchronized concentrations. They lay their eggs at midnight in 45 centimeter pits, which they dig 2-3 foot long pits to lay eggs with their rear flippers.
After laying the eggs in the pits, the female turtles cover the nests with sand and return to the sea in a zigzag manner to confuse predators about the location of the nests.
The mortality rate of Olive Ridleys is so high that one egg out of every 1000 laid, ultimately survives to become an adult olive Ridley, according to experts.
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