Olive Ridley Turtles And Odisha Beaches, Things You Need To Know
In the marine world, there exists a number of turtle species. Now, among the many available there are few species of turtles that are popular around the globe. One such turtle species is the Olive Ridley. With regards to beaches in India, there exist a few states in the country which serve as a nesting ground for the Olive Ridley Turtles. One such state being Odisha located on the eastern coast of the country. So, here is presenting a few facts about these turtle species as well on its relationship with Odisha beaches.
a. What exactly is the Olive Ridley Turtles species?
“Lepidochelys Olivacea” is the scientific name of the Olive Ridley Turtle species. Belonging to the “Lepidochelys” genus, this sea turtle species is considered to be the “smallest” in the animal kingdom. Now, since this turtle species comprises of a shell that is “Olive Green” in colour it has been named so. Furthermore, in terms of weight and length this turtle species weighs about 75-100 pounds while it measures about 2 feet in length.
b. The Olive Ridley Turtles their mating ritual known as “Arribada”, and their infants
“Arribada” is the technical term used to describe the mating ritual used by the Olive Ridley Turtles. As per this ritual the female turtles arrive at any given beach and lay thousands of eggs. Once the laying is completed the turtles then head back into the sea. It is approximately about 45-65 days after the laying of the eggs that they begin to “hatch”. On hatching, infants begin to crawl out of the shells and make their way into the sea.
Unfortunately, post hatching it has been observed that very few infant Olive Ridley Turtles tend to survive. The main reasons of a low survival rate include attack by crabs, birds, and snakes. Furthermore, at times it has also been found that the route taken by the infant Olive Ridley turtles in the sea is fraught with danger, and hence their chances of survival decreases.
d. The east Indian state of Odisha, the nesting spot of the Olive Ridley Turtles
Odisha is one state in India which consists of few beaches which serve as a nesting spot for the Olive Ridley Turtles. Apparently, it is mainly during the summer season which begins in February and ends in about May that this turtle species undergo the mating process known as “Arribada” on beaches in Odisha. The two main beaches in this east Indian state which witness the mating ritual of the turtles are Rushikulya and Gahirmatha. It is therefore the magnificent sight of the Olive Ridley Turtles mating at these beaches that makes them extremely popular with tourists.
e. Conservation projects involving the Olive Ridley Turtles at the Odisha beaches
With the mating of the Olive Ridley Turtles at Odisha beaches having become a tourist attraction, there are number of local groups such as the Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee” who have set up conservation projects so as to provide protection for the turtles. Furthermore, an organization known as “Orissa Marine Resources Conservation Consortium” has been developed to ensure that the beaches in Odisha continue to serve as the mating nest for the Olive Ridley Turtles, and thereby attract more tourists.
And so, it is the annual mating ritual undertaken by the Olive Ridley Turtles species that makes beaches in Odisha not only worth visiting but also a must visit.
Image Credits: Wikimedia