Olive Ridley Turtles


    In News

    • A large number of Olive Ridley turtles have started arriving for mating at the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha.

    About Olive Ridley turtles


    • Scientific name: Lepidochelys olivacea; also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
    • Location: Found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
    • Features: 
      • One of the smallest sea-turtles on the earth.
      • Olive green colour of their shell.  
      • They can grow up to two-and-a-half feet in length and weigh 30-45 kilograms
      • Food: Mainly shrimp, crab, molluscs, fish and crabs.
      • Known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada (which means ‘arrival by the sea’ in Spanish), where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs. 
      • They hatch in 45 to 60 days.
      • Gender: determined by the temperature at which they are hatched. 
        • male turtle is born if the egg hatches at a temperature below 29 degrees Celsius. 
        • Above that, the hatchling is a female
    • Sea Turtles in India: There are five species of sea turtles in Indian waters viz.,
      • Leatherback, 
      • Loggerhead, 
      • Hawksbill, 
      • Green and 
      • Olive Ridley.
    • Conservation Status:
      • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
      • Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
      • CITES Appendix I
    • Nesting sites: 
      • Rushikulya rookery coast (Odisha), 
      • Gahirmatha beach (Bhitarkanika National park) and 
      • Mouth of the Devi River.
    • Threats: 
      • More frequent and intense flooding and cyclones
      • Sex ratio is getting skewed because of global warming.
      • Hunted for meat and shell.
      • Anthropogenic factors like fishing trawlers etc.

    Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary

    • It is a marine wildlife sanctuary located in Odisha.
    • It is the world’s largest nesting beach for Olive Ridley Turtles.
    • It extends from Dhamra River mouth in the north to Brahmani river mouth in the south.
    • Gahirmatha was declared a turtle sanctuary in 1997 by Odisha after considering its ecological importance and as part of efforts to save the sea turtles.

    Source: IE