It is breathtaking how the lockdown has brought about a change between the natural world and the human world. It’s a challenging time for everyone, and it is taking its toll on us, but without humans interrupting nature, the Olive Riley sea turtles returned to beaches to lay their eggs.
Thousands of Olive Riley sea turtles are having a mass nesting season, one of the best in years. In the past week, about 250,000 mothers came to shore to build nests and lay eggs at Odisha’s Rushikulya Rookery.
At Gahirmatha, it is estimated that 60 million eggs are going to be laid this year. The turtles laid no eggs for the past seven years, so the lockdown is a turn of fate for their survival as a species.
Females return to the beach from where they hatched to lay their eggs. A mother turtle can lay between 100 to 110 eggs per clutch. A lot of eggs get destroyed from the mother’s weight on the eggs. The eggs incubate for about 50 to 60 days where after the hatchlings move to the sea.
There are roughly 25 researchers and guards allowed on the beach to protect the endangered sea turtles.
Under normal circumstances, the turtles need protection from humans flocking to the beach during mass nesting, egg poachers that sell the eggs at markets, harvesting for skin and meat, accidental capture in nets, marine pollution jackals and crows.
Accidental capture is being reduced by changing fishing gear, and specific nesting beaches have been turned into reserves to protect the species and for long term conservation.
The biggest turtle predators are in quarantine – adding a silver lining to the dark cloud to ensure the survival of the endangered Olive Riley turtle.
Tortoises and Turtles are one of the most long-lived members of the reptile family. Small species of turtles kept as pets live about 30 to 40 years if they are healthy. Larger species of sea turtles are estimated to live about 80 years.
It isn’t recommended to keep turtles or tortoises as a pet, as it’s possible they can transmit salmonella. If you do, make sure to choose the species carefully.
While humans have unlimited needs, and the planet has limited capacity. Now more than ever, it’s essential to understand and appreciate the limitation needed to ensure there is a balance between humans and nature before both are impacted negatively.