Kendrapara, Dec 4 (LocalWire) Forest officials of Gahiramatha marine sanctuary have recently requested DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) officials to put off bright lights at missile test range at Abdul Kalam Island to facilitate mass-nesting of turtles.
“Artificial lighting on the missile taste range at Abdul Kalam Island near Gahiramath beach disorients hatching turtles and adult female in ways that can be deadly,” said forest range officer Srirampada Arabinda Mishra.
“DRDO officials assured us they will put off the lights during nesting season. Now large numbers of turtles are mating on the surface of the seawater,” said Mishra.
“The DRDO has responded positively towards turtle conservation measures and assured us not to illuminate the Abdul Kalam island to ensure the safe arrival of turtles,” he added.
A record number of 6,64,549 turtles laid eggs from Mar 8 to 12 this year on the Nasi-1 and Nasi- 2 islands of the marine sanctuary, breaking nesting record of last 16 years, he said.
Officials of Paradip Port Trust (PPT), Dhamra port and Gopalpur private-run ports have also been directed not to use powerful lighting systems as lakhs of turtles have already arrived on the sea and they are now mating, said Mishra.
Six years back, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) had helped Dhamara port to install turtle friendly light systems at the port site for allowing turtles to nest at the Nasi-1 and Nasi 2 islands within Gahiramatha beach.
These lights have no mercury vapour and only sodium vapour lamps have been installed. All lights have been directed downward so that the sky is not illuminated.