Sea erosion eats into Olive Ridley Turtles` space

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 13:07

Kendrapara: Jostling for place
in a decimated beach, the delicate olive ridley sea turtles
presently engaged in the second mass nesting along the idyllic
Nasi-2 Island in Orissa`s Kendrapara district were faced with
severe space crunch.

The nesting ground was now teeming with female
turtles. But the beach close to the Wheelers Island defence
installation project was severely truncated by sea erosion.

The decimated beach was bereft of adequate land areas
to accommodate such a large number of marine visitors at a
time, forest officials said today,
There was hardly any space left on the sandy beach for
female turtles to lay eggs. Earlier this month, 1.87 lakh
turtles had arrived en-masse here and dug out nests along the
beach occupying almost the whole of the beach area, said
Prasanna Kumar Behera, divisional forest officer, Rajnagar
Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division.

``We are facing a crisis of sorts following fresh influx
of turtles in the ongoing second phase of mass nesting of
these species. Nearly 1.53 lakh more turtles have again turned
up to lay eggs. Never before, had such a large number of
turtles invaded the beach in second phase of mass nesting,``
he said.

Though they come in large number, the space was not
adequate to accumodate the marine animals to lay eggs, he
said.

The marauding sea has altered the geographical contour
of the nesting ground and sea erosion has reduced the unmanned
island to about 900 metre length and 90 metre width.

"We are concerned about the safety of eggs earlier
laid in millions of nests dug out by breeding turtles during
the first phase of mass nesting. Each nest contains to 40 to
50 eggs," he informed.

The forest personnel guarding the nesting ground were
helpless as turtles during the course of laying eggs cause
damage to eggs tucked inside the earlier built nests, said the
officials.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 13:07

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