Over 3 lakh Olive Ridley turtles lay eggs at Odisha’s Gahirmatha

Bhubaneswar: At least 3 lakh Olive Ridley sea turtles have laid eggs at Gahirmatha in Kendrapara district of Odisha in two days starting March 9.

Thousands of Olive Ridleys have congregated in the coastal sea near Gahirmatha for breeding purposes for last one month.

At least 88,000 turtles laid eggs on the Gahirmatha coast through mass nesting on March 9. Similarly, altogether 2,14,058 turtles laid eggs on March 10, said an official of the Forest department today.

The Forest department, meanwhile, has intensified surveillance at Gahirmatha to facilitate safe breeding of Olive Ridley turtles.

“We have identified a portion of Gahirmatha beach as the nesting site for Olive Ridleys. We have intensified surveillance to protect the turtles and their eggs from predators. Employees of Rajnagar and Bhadrak Forest divisions have been put on high alert,” added the official.

As per Forest department data, as many as 6,64,097 turtles had laid eggs at Gahirmatha through mass nesting in 2017-18 breeding season while the number was 4,50,949 in 2018-19, 4, 07, 204 in 2019-20, 3,49,649 in 2020-21 breeding season and 5,01,157 in 2021-22 season.

“It is expected that record number of turtles will lay eggs at Gahirmatha in the current breeding season,” said the official.

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