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29th March 2022 (6 Topics)

Endangered olive ridleys find a new home for nesting


Despite concerns over erosion in coastal areas due to high tide, this year marked a record mass nesting of endangered Olive Ridley turtles at Rushikulya beach.


About Olive Ridley Turtles:

  • They are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
  • Major nesting sites in India:Rushikulya rookery coast (Odisha), Gahirmatha beach (Bhitarkanika National park) and mouth of the Debi River.
  • Scientific name: Lepidochelys olivacea; also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
  • Presence:Found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • Conservation Status
  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
  • Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • CITES Appendix I 
  • Features:
  • Known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs. 
  • These are carnivores and feed mainly on jellyfish, shrimp
  • The eggs hatch in 45 to 60 days, depending on the temperature of the sand and atmosphere during the incubation period.


About Rushikulya rookery:

  • The Ruskikulya Rookery is located in Odisha.
  • The rookery is situated on the Rushikulya Beach in Ganjam district.
  • The coast of Odisha is the largest mass nesting site for these sea turtles. 
  • It is at the mouth of river Rushikulya.
  • The Rushikulya River is one of the major rivers in the state of Odisha.
  • The Rushikulya originates at an elevation of about 1000 metres from Daringbadi hills of the Eastern Ghats range. 
  • It meets the Bay of Bengal at Puruna Bandha in Ganjam.
  • Its tributaries are the Baghua, the Dhanei, the Badanadi etc.
  • It has no delta as such at its mouth.


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