Berhampur: Feb 28 (Localwire): Over 500 Olive Ridleys have laid eggs at the Rushikulya river mouth off the Ganjam coast in Odisha, indicating that the mass nesting season of the turtles has begun.
Eggs were laid in a five-km radius, covering Podampeta, Gokharakuda and Sonepur areas, over the past two days, divisional forest officer (DFO) Asish Kumar Behera said.
Behera said that it’s generally considered a mass nesting, when 500 eggs, or more, are laid at a given site in a single day. He said the eggs would be collected in seven hatcheries set up in the area for protection.
Forest officials will be on high alert during the nesting season. “We have set up 11 turtle protection camps. Each camp is manned by two guards to protect the turtles and the eggs,” Behera said.
Six CCTV cameras have also been installed for the first time to monitor the ground round-the-clock.
Rushikulya river mouth is considered the second biggest rookery for Olive Ridleys after the Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary in Kendrapara district.
Last year, a record number of 4,82,128 turtles had laid eggs during their nesting periods from Februiary 20-27 and from April 17-21.