70,000 Endangered Sea Turtles Lay Eggs on Empty Beaches During Quarantine
While humans are on lockdown, Olive Ridley sea turtles are making a comeback on Indian shores.
70, 000 Olive Ridley sea turtles are storming the Odisha Rookery, a coastal beach in India, to do a mass nesting in broad daylight. While this once-a-year event is normally a big time tourist attraction, Indian people are on a 21-day stay-at-home order.
Now authorities don’t have to work as hard to protect the hatcheries from pesky human interaction. These hatcheries were severely damaged last year thanks to Cyclone Title, rendering the Olive Ridley unable to reproduce at normal levels. Once the storm passed, the Indian Forest Department was able to clean up the debris and prep their shores for the turtles’ triumphant return.
The hatcheries are important because they protect the eggs during the critical stage of nesting. With the help from fisherman and other volunteers, they keep dogs and other predators at bay.
Once the turtles are hatched and head toward the ocean, their survival rates dwindle thanks to birds and other sea creatures looking for a quick lunch. An even bigger threat to their existence are nets from commercial fishing boats.
This year, the Indian government has deployed its own boats to keep commercial fisherman away. At least half of all Olive Ridley nest on Indian shores, according to the Odisha Wildlife Foundation.
A single Olive Ridley can lay 100 eggs before heading back out to sea. Once fully grown, an Olive Ridley can reach up to 2 feet in size.
Original source: https://thecorrespondent.com/