DRDO asked to cover bright lights in Wheelers Island
Kendrapara: The Orissa Forest Department has asked the DRDO to cover high-power lights at its test-range in Wheelers Islands along the Bay of Bangal so as to not disturb the breeding of endangered Olive Ridley turtles.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has its Missile Test Range Centre in the Wheelers group of Island off Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, one of the few remaining nesting sites in the world for the rare species.
The appeal has been made through a letter as there is every possibility that breeding of Olive Ridley sea turtles may get distracted by bright lights during mass nesting, said Prasanna Kumar Behera, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division.
"The mass nesting of turtles is on full swing since a large number of breeding turtles have been sighted along the deep sea in the past fortnight. In view of the situation, it's time to provide safety to these delicate marine species and ensure their breeding and nesting is not disturbed," he said.
"We have appealed to mask the lights till the newborn turtles complete their seaward journey," Behera said.
Officials of Rajnagar Mangrove Forest Division and DRDO had earlier held an elaborate discussion on the issue.