Fencing along the sea coast to protect the olive ridley turtles during their mass nesting at the Rushikulya rookery in Odisha is being increased by two more kilometres this year. The mating season of the endangered marine turtles in the sea near the Rushikulya rookery coast that started in November is now over.
According to wildlife experts, mass nesting of olive ridleys is expected to start in a week or ten days at this major nesting site. Thousands of mother olive ridleys are now waiting at sea within two kilometres from the coastline between Gokharkuda and Podampeta villages of Ganjam district. Every year, a 3.5-kilometre-long stretch of the beach from Gokharkuda to Podampeta used to be fenced to stop predators from harming the olive ridleys during nesting and the eggs in their nests. This temporary fencing also checks olive ridleys and their hatchlings from straying towards land.
The forest department has established four camps at Purunabandh, Gokharkuda, Podampeta and Bateswar. These camps will monitor the nesting process round-the-clock. Patrolling at sea is continuing to check the entry of fishing trawlers to the olive ridley congregation zone. The forest department has decided to streamline and regulate tourist flow to the nesting coast during the nesting season.