Olive ridley Sea Turtle

Context:

  • Recently the Odisha forest department is all set to add another olive ridley mass nesting site to its wildlife map.
  • It has started preparing the beach at the Bahuda river mouth in Ganjam district to lure the endangered turtles to come over for mass nesting next year. Around 3-km stretch of the beach from Sunapur to Anantpur at Bahuda rookery is being developed as a possible olive ridley mass nesting site.
  • The Bahuda rookery is located around 20 km to the south of Rushikulya rookery coast, a major mass nesting site of olive ridleys on the Indian coastline.

About Pacific ridley sea turtle

  • Also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world; this species of sea turtle is found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They can also be found in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Conservation status:

  • The olive ridley is classified as vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
  • These listings were largely responsible for halting the large-scale commercial exploitation and trade of olive ridley skins.
  • The Convention on Migratory Species and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles have also provided olive ridleys with protection, leading to increased conservation and management for this marine turtle.

Community Reserve or Protected Area?

  • The government of Orissa is planning to declare Rushikulya rookery a Protected Area. Declaration of a Protected Area automatically strips the rights of local people on this traditional sea turtle nesting site.
  • The Indian Wild Life Protection Act (1972), Amendment 2002, has a provision of declaring certain wildlife areas as Community Reserve (CR).
  • The Rushikulya rookery of Orissa coast offers an ideal site for such a Community Reserve.
  • The proposed program will adequately document these efforts and a case will be put up before the State and Union Government to declare Rushikulya rookery as a Community Reserve. 

World Turtle Trust:

  • The inspiration for the World Turtle Trust began in 1989 when a small group of volunteers formed the “The Honu Project”. “Honu” is the Hawaiian word for sea turtle. We somehow came to love and care about sea turtles and wanted to help in some way to save them. After much reflection, we decided to focus on education through producing video documentaries on sea turtle conservation issues.
  • The Honu Project, dba the World Turtle Trust is a non-profit, 501(c)3 tax-exempt corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible in the United States to the extent allowed by law. 

Other Prelims Facts:

  • Bright lights from the missile test range at Wheeler’s Island near Gahirmatha had been an impediment to the arrival of the turtles last year. 

Source:TH & Wiki