February 19, 2012

Climate Change may force Olive Ridley Turtles to abandon Odisha beaches for mass nesting

Higher degree of erosion at many points of Odisha's coastline poses serious threat to the routine activities of marine turtles and raises doubts about the continuity of the tradition of mass nesting by the Olive Ridley marine turtles called ‘Arribada’. The nesting grounds are being squeezed alarmingly and the coastal vegetation that plays a vital role in providing food to lakhs of mother turtles and their hatchlings is vanishing rapidly because of coastal erosion and aggressive persuasion of development projects like port infrastructure by Odisha government across the coastline. In regard to the nesting activities this season (2012), things look quite uncertain as the beaches near Gahirmatha river mouth, Devi river mouth and Rushikulya river mouth, that have been the regular nesting grounds for the turtles, have lost most of their space in the Bay of Bengal because of erosion.