Nagapattinam: More than 20 carcasses of Olive Ridleys were Tuesday washed ashore in the coastal stretch between Tarangambadi and Pudupettai in Nagapattinam district, forest officials said.
The Ridleys might have been hit by mechanised boats while they were travelling to the shore, sources said.
Coastal areas of Nagapattinam coast attract a large number of Olive Ridleys every year during the nesting season, which begins in December and continues till March.
The hatching period ranges around 60 days. Predators like dogs, crows and vultures damage and eat away the eggs on the coast. Most eggs get damaged and only a handful successfully hatch.
Olive Ridleys have been classified as "vulnerable" according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
The Nagapattinam wildlife department has set up a hatchery in Kodiakarai wildlife sanctuary premises to hatch the eggs artificially.
The young ones that come out in the hatchery are put in the sea, which is their natural habitat.
The life span of Ridleys ranges from 60 to 300 years. The Forest Department has set up egg collection centres at six points in Vedaranyam coast.