Olive Ridley Turtles
- Olive Ridley turtle is the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtle found in the world.
- It gets its name from its olive coloured carapace, which is heart-shaped and rounded.
- It is found in warm waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans.
- It spends entire lives in the ocean and migrates thousands of kilometres between feeding and mating grounds in the course of a year.
- It is classified as Vulnerable in IUCN Red List and is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
- In India, it is protected under Wildlife (Protection) Act.
- Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years.
- Conservation of Olive Ridley turtles is done in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS),Andhra Pradesh.
- Members of the Yanadi tribe are directly involved in the conservation bid.
- They are best known for their behaviour of synchronized nesting in mass numbers.
- It commences its journey from Indian Ocean towards Bay of Bengal during their mating season in October and November every year.
- A single female can lay up to 100 to 150 eggs in a pit dug on the beaches.
- Six weeks later these eggs hatches and the newly hatched turtles start the journey to their Indian Ocean habitat.
- The destination for majority of the turtles for laying egg is Gahirmatha in Odisha.
- The sandy stretches of Hope Island of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary also have turned into a breeding area
Why in news?
- Hope Island in Andhra Pradesh has become graveyard for Olive Ridley turtles.
- The breeding cycle of this species got severe blow due to mechanised fishing boats scouring in the Bay of Bengal coastline. These boats crush most of these turtles under it leading to their death.