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=> Researchers of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) are carrying out tagging of Olive Ridley turtles at three mass nesting sites – Gahirmatha, Devi River mouth and Rushikulya. The exercise was undertaken in Odisha in January 2021 after a span of about 25 years and 1,556 turtles had been tagged.
Significance of Tagging:
=> The tagging will helps in tracking their movements and enhance the protection of endangered turtles. The metal tags affixed to turtles are non-corrosive, which can be removed later and they do not harm their body.
=> Helps in identifying the migration path and places visited by Olive Ridley turtles after congregation and nesting.
Key facts of Olive Ridley Turtles:
=> About: They are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
=> Major nesting sites in India: Rushikulya rookery coast (Odisha), Gahirmatha beach (Bhitarkanika National park) and mouth of the Debi River.
=> Scientific name: Lepidochelys olivacea; also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
=> Presence: Found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
=> Conservation Status:
=> Features: Known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs. These are carnivores and feed mainly on jellyfish, shrimp etc. The eggs hatch in 45 to 60 days, depending on the temperature of the sand and atmosphere during the incubation period.
=> Threats: Hunted for meat, shell and other anthropogenic factors like fishing trawlers etc.
=> Operation Olivia: Every year, the Indian Coast Guard’s “Operation Olivia”, initiated in the early 1980s, helps protect Olive Ridley turtles as they congregate along the Odisha coast for breeding and nesting from November to December.
=> Mandatory use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs): To reduce the accidental killing in India, the Odisha government has made it mandatory for trawls to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), a net specially designed with an exit cover that allows the turtles to escape while retaining the catch.
By: ASRAF UDDIN AHMED ProfileResourcesReport error
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