Every year in April, over two lakh Olive Ridley turtles congregate at the Rushikuya rookery for mass nesting event. The event goes on for four to six days when the turtles lay their eggs. However it is 11 April 2016, and there is still no sign of the Olive Ridley turtles.
The absence has been blamed on Global Warming and rising mercury which is deterring the olive turtles from gathering for mass nesting this year.
Global Warming is affecting the human race a known fact. However, it has also started to affect the animal kingdom also. The past decade has seen a steady rise in global temperatures which has started affecting the climate severely.
‘Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife)’ Siddhant Das said that the surge in temperatures biggest hindrance in the nesting.
Retired chief conservator of forests Sudhakar Mohapatra explained that the southern wind played a very crucial role and helped the Olive Ridley turtles climb the beach. However this year the southern wind is missing, and it could be due to global warming.
A closer examination of the 4-km long beach strip that extends from Gokharakuda to Kantiagada was found to be unsuitable for mass nesting even in cloudy weather.
Another reason blamed for the absence of mass nesting is the erosion of the beach as explained by Secretary, Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee, Rabindra Sahu.
Coastal Odisha where the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, the world’s largest rookery of the world is located is facing a severe heat wave condition with temperatures soaring above 40-degree centigrade in the past few days. It constitutes a rise of five degrees than normal temperatures.
Bhitarkanika National Park officials say that there were signs of mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles two weeks back but today the situation is different.
Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary Ranger Subrata Kumar Patra informed that week back Olive Ridley sea turtles were on the coast, but now they had returned to the deep sea. This year we may not see the mass nesting of the Olive Ridley turtles.