Hundreds of Dead Olive Ridley Turtles Found in Nagapattinam

Lepidochelys olivacea - Olive Ridley turtleTree Foundation an NGO involved in the conservation of the sea turtles said that more than 100 dead Olive Ridley Turtles were found by them in the shores of Nagapattinam since December 2013. It also said that during the same period carcasses of 21 turtles were washed ashore in Puducherry.

The Fisheries department has also issued directions to the fishing villages directing them to cut their nets to free trapped turtles. The action has been taken to reduce the number of casualties of turtles, who fall a prey of the nets of fishermen. This is the first time that the Forest Department has also started collecting data of the turtles, with which they will analyse and study the locations of nesting sites. The study of the nesting and carcasses of turtles is not available in Puducherry.

The Olive Ridley turtles find the 154-km coastline of Nagapattinam as a favourable nesting habitat and that’s why, they reach to the shore from December to March every year.

The Olive Ridley looks very similar to the Kemp’s ridley, but has a deeper body and slightly up-turned edges to its carapace (shell).These weighs around 45 kilograms and are 70cm in size and this makes them the smallest of the sea turtles along with Kmp riddles. The Olive Ridley turtle are Rusty coloured carapace and have slightly smaller head and shell than the Kemp turtles. These Olive Ridley turtles generally occur through the Antilles, around the north coast of South America, in West Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australia and Southeast Asia. As per the reports the populations of Olive Riddles to have declined in Pakistan, Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand, and possibly on the east coast of India, south of Orissa and in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Sea turtles are a reptile that breathe air and that’s why they need to come up in every 40 to 45 minutes. These are among the one of the most ancient creatures on Earth. At present, only seven species of these turtles are found in the world and they co-existed at the time of dinosaurs. Unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their legs and head into their shells. Their color varies between yellow, greenish and black depending on the species. Hard to say about the population about these turtles as the male nor do the female turtles never return to the shore after hatching as they reach the ocean. This makes it hard to keep a track on them. These are generally found in all warm and temperate waters across the world.

The Tree Foundation is an NGO (non-profit organization) that pursues and promotes research, education, and exploration to advance the conservation of our planet’s botanical resources and ecosystems dependent upon them. A present the foundation has linked up with the fishing villages of the area to inform them when they find a dead turtle. The organisation has discovered 154 dead turtles and 1 dead dolphin of which most were found along the3 coast of Tharangambadi from 28 December to 27 January.

Read more on Orissa Government imposes a seven month ban on fishing to protect the Olive Ridley Turtle

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