Fifty-five Olive Ridley turtles, which were tagged with metallic flipper in the last two years on the Odisha coast, have returned to the Rushikulya river mouth to lay eggs this time, officials said.
The tagged marine reptiles were among 3.20 lakh Olive Ridley turtles, an endangered species, nested in the five km-long rookery of the Rushikulya river in the last two days, Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer Amlan Nayak said on Saturday.
Mass nesting of the species started near the river mouth from Thursday, he said.
Tagging of Olive Ridley sea turtles would help scientists identify the migration path and places visited by the marine reptiles after congregation and nesting.
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“In the last two days, we have detected 55 female tagged turtles, which have returned to the Odisha coast for nesting this time,” said Anil Mohapatra, a senior scientist and officer-in-charge of Estuarine Biology Research Center (EBRC), a regional unit of the Zoological Survey of India, Gopalpur.
In the last year, at least 12 tagged turtles were detected during the mass-nesting period at the Rushikulya river beach.
The tagging of Olive Ridley turtles on the Odisha coast was carried out jointly by the ZSI and the state forest department, the official said.
The scientists of ZSI had tagged around 8,500 turtles at the Rushikulya rookery and Gahiramatha marine sanctuary, he said.
”We have collected photographs of the tagged turtles and conduct a detailed study after completing the fresh tagging process for this year,” he said.