In an attempt to boost the population of the Olive Ridley turtles, conservation programs and protection of the turtle’s breeding grounds on India’s East Coast have been going on for long.
The Chennai wildlife team has take a big step forward in this direction by releasing 8,834 hatchlings in a phased manner in the Bay of Bengal ahead of World Turtle Day.
The eggs of the olive Ridley turtles are prone to damage on the beaches due to over population and constant human activity in the region.
Over 10,000 turtle eggs had been collected by the Chennai wildlife staff along the Marina coastline and over 90 percent of them hatched to provide the department with nearly 9000 hatchlings!
Geethanjali, wildlife warden says, “forest department had envisaged a special conservation program since last year to protect the Olive Ridleys that nest in Chennai.
The city is one of the largest nesting grounds for the marine turtles, after the Odisha coast”. Obviously, the local fishermen were a big part of the project and helped in both locating and protecting the nesting sites.
The massive egg collection drive also helped the wildlife authorities determine the current turtle populations and map out their breeding grounds more accurately for conservation purpose.
Similar drive is being undertaken by a lot of other coastal towns in the region with Kanyakumari and Nagapattinam releasing 950 and 4,400 Olive Ridley hatchlings into the sea.
Olive Ridley turtles come back to lay eggs in the exact region that they were born and the breeding season between March and December sees thousands arrive on these shores each year.