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Important Facts For Prelims

Olive Ridley Turtles

  • 09 May 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Mass hatching of Olive Ridley turtles has begun at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery (near Ganjam district).

  • 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.

Key Points

  • Features:
    • The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
    • These turtles are carnivores and get their name from their olive colored carapace.
  • Habitat: They are found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • Migration: They migrate thousands of kilometers between feeding and mating grounds in the course of a year.
  • Arribada (Mass Nesting): They are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
    • They lay their eggs over a period of five to seven days in conical nests about one and a half feet deep which they dig with their hind flippers.
  • Threats:
    • They are extensively poached for their meat, shell and leather, and their eggs.
    • However, the most severe threat they face is the accidental killing through entanglement in trawl nets and gill nets due to uncontrolled fishing during their mating season around nesting beaches.
  • Protection Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
    • CITES: Appendix I
    • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • Step Taken for Conservation: To reduce accidental killing in India, 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.

Source: TH

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