Kasargod: Olive ridleys arrive but less in numbers

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AMIYA MEETHAL
Published Feb 12, 2018, 6:39 am IST
Updated Feb 12, 2018, 6:39 am IST
The sex of the turtle is being determined by the degree of heat it receives while hatching.
An olive ridley turtle makes arrangements to lay eggs on the shore of Kasargod.
 An olive ridley turtle makes arrangements to lay eggs on the shore of Kasargod.

KOZHIKODE: It is season time and olive ridley sea turtles are coming to Kasargod shore to lay eggs. As many as 600 eggs were found on the  15-km coast from Thrikaripur to Chithari and 100 of the hatched newborns were sent back to sea. Volunteers of ‘Neithal’, an NGO of Thaikadappuram in Kasargod, has been instrumental in protecting the eggs of sea turtles for the last 15 years but says that they are not finding enough eggs.

“Earlier, we got 27 nests a year. Last year we got eight only. Since January, only five nests were  found which contained close to 600 eggs,” said Sudheer Kumar. P.V, President of Neithal. Neithal had set up a natural hatchery at Thaikadappuram and the NGO had so far sent  back 30,000 hatched turtles to the sea over the  years. “The erection of a sea wall is a major impediment. It destroys the natural sand wall which is indispensable for turtles. Also, many olive ridley turtles get killed when they hit the engine of boats in the sea. Abandoned fishing nets in the sea also create another death trap for the turtles,” elaborated Sudheer.

 

Earlier, fox eating the eggs onshore was the threat. Neithal then began the protection of the eggs by engaging volunteers round the clock. “Climate change too could be a reason. The sex of the turtle is being determined by the degree of heat it receives while hatching. There are more male turtles now which indicates a rise in the temperature,” said Praveen Kumar. K, Neithal member. Though there are five types of sea turtles, olive ridley turtles are only found here.

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Location: India, Kerala




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