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Important Facts For Prelims

Olive Ridley Turtles

  • 25 Feb 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Preparations are almost done at the Rushikulya rookery on the Odisha coast to welcome and protect olive ridley turtles during mass nesting.

Key Points

  • Olive Ridley Turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • These turtles, along with the Kemps ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada (mass-nesting event when thousands of turtles come ashore at the same time to lay eggs on the same).
  • They are carnivores.
Note:
  • 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.

Protection Status

  • Vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
  • Listed in Appendix I of CITES.
  • Under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Threats

  • Unfriendly fishing practices: The accidental killing of adult turtles through entanglement in trawl nets and gill nets due to uncontrolled fishing during their mating season around nesting beaches.
  • The Odisha government has made it mandatory for trawls to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), a net specially designed with an exit cover which allows the turtles to escape while retaining the catch.
    • However, this has been strongly opposed by the fishing communities as they believe TEDs result in loss of a considerable amount of the catch along with the turtle.
  • Development and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports and tourist centres.

Rushikulya River

  • It originates from Rushikulya hills of the Eastern Ghats in Phulbani district (Odisha).
  • It is 165 kms. long with 8900 sq.kms of catchment areas.
  • It covers the entire catchment area in the districts of Kandhamal and Ganjam district of Odisha.

Source: TH

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