Olive Ridley turtles have kept their date with Gahirmatha beach in Odisha’s Kendrapara district, known as world’s largest rookery of this endangered species, arriving just offshore for mating in large numbers.
“Olive Ridley pairs have been seen floating near Gahirmatha coast since October last week. We hope that turtles would scale the sand slope in large number to lay eggs in January and February,” said Bimal Prasad Acharya, Divisional Forest Officer of Mangrove Forest Division (Wildlife), Rajnagar, on Thursday.
Offshore congregation of Olive Ridley pairs has been observed along 8 km of the Habelighati shoreline. The spectacular sight fascinates nature lovers and scientists.
To ensure safe mating, day and night patrolling has been intensified so that fishing attempts can be checked, said Subrat Patra, Gahirmatha forest range officer. Mechanised fishing spells the biggest trouble for turtles as they get entangled in the trawl net.