Olive Ridley Turtles: Why do They need to be conserved?

1. Olive Ridley Turtles: Found in the Indian Ocean along the Bay of Bengal is Orissa. Average weight of the turtles is just over 100 lb (up to 50 kgs). They have a high-domed shell, with a carapace length of only 30 inches (70 cms). Olive Ridleys are omnivorous, feeding on crabs, shrimp, rock lobsters, sea grasses, snails, fish, sessile, pelagic tunocates and small invertebrates. The Orissa coast is one of the three sites worldwide where mass nesting of the Olive Ridley Turtle occurs. This sea turtle is especially known for its mass nesting when several thousand turtles migrate to the breeding ground to mate and nest simultaneously. Hindu mythology worships sea turtles as an incarnation of one of their gods. Over the past five years, sea turtles have suffered mass mortality along the Orissa coast due to death by drowning as incidental catch in trawl – fishing nets. About 5,000 to 10,000 dead turtles have been washed ashore each year, a total of over 1,00,000 in the last 10 years. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhsxVpZb-cQ

2. Phylogeography of olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) on the east coast of India: implications for conservation theory: Orissa, on the east coast of India, is one of the three mass nesting sites in the world for olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). This population is currently under threat as a result of fishery-related mortality; more than 100 000 olive ridleys have been counted dead in the last 10 years in Orissa. In general, the globally distributed olive ridley turtle has received significantly less conservation attention than its congener, the Kemp’s ridley turtle (L. kempi), because the latter is recognized as a distinct species consisting of a single endangered population. Our study of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes suggests that the ridley population on the east coast of India is panmictic, but distinct from all other populations including Sri Lanka. About 96% of the Indian population consisted of a distinct ‘K’ clade with haplotypes not found in any other population. Nested clade analysis and conventional analysis both supported range expansions and/or long-distance colonization from the Indian Ocean clades to other oceanic basins, which suggested that these are the ancestral source for contemporary global populations of olive ridley turtles. These data support the distinctiveness of the Indian Ocean ridleys, suggesting that conservation prioritization should be based on appropriate data and not solely on species designations: http://www.ccmb.res.in/staff/rameshkg/11.pdf

3. OLIVE RIDLEY TURTLE: The second smallest after the Kemp’s ridley, the Olive Ridley turtles weigh between 75-100 pounds (34 – 45 kg) and reach 2-2 ½ feet (roughly .6 m) in length. They are named for their pale green carapace, or shell and are the most abundant of sea turtle species.: http://www.seeturtles.org/1043/olive-ridley-turtle.html

4. Images of Olive Ridley Turtles: http://www.google.co.in/search?q=olive+ridley+turtles+in+india&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=610&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1CeeT5PrD8LXrQebsclG&ved=0CHQQsAQ

5. Mass hatching of Olive Ridley eggs begins…. : http://projectsmileindia.wordpress.com/tag/olive-ridley-turtles/

6. Sea, sand and survival….N. SHIVA KUMAR: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/article3366846.ece

7. Baby olive ridley turtles let into sea: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/environment/flora-fauna/baby-olive-ridley-turtles-let-into-sea/articleshow/12557866.cms

8. Efforts on to protect baby Olive Ridleys: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Efforts-on-to-protect-baby-Olive-Ridleys/articleshow/12771554.cms

9. Former poachers turn turtle protectors: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Former-poachers-turn-turtle-protectors/articleshow/12903888.cms

10. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Olive-Ridley-turtles

11. Endangered Olive Ridley Turtles Nesting in Eastern India: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhhhj6_endangered-olive-ridley-turtles-nesting-in-eastern-india_animals

12. Seven Wonders of India: Olive Ridley Sea Turtles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhsxVpZb-cQ

13. Olive Ridley turtles arrive for annual nesting at Rushikulya Orissa: http://www.wwfindia.org/?4200/Olive-ridley-turtles

14. World Turtles Trust Project: http://world-turtle-trust.org/project07.html

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