Karnataka: 11th olive ridley nesting site recorded off Kundapur | Mangaluru News – Times of India

UDUPI: The 11th olive ridley sea turtle nesting site near the Kodi lighthouse in Kundapur was recorded on Wednesday. The department of forest ecology and environment has come forward to protect this site and hatching from the first batch is expected to begin from March 8.
Experts feel the beach clean-up drives have played an important role in the sighting and conservation of olive ridley sea turtle nesting sites. Dr Dinesh Kumar YK, DCF, forest ecology and environment told TOI, probably after several years, olive ridley sea turtle nesting sites are being reported on Karnataka’s coast. “This has not happened in some of the pristine beaches of Uttara Kannada too. We are spreading awareness through beach adoption programmes and beach cleanup drives are being held since November,” he said.
The first nesting site in Kundapur was recorded on January 21 and more than 1,200 eggs are being protected in first of its kind in-situ conservation in the state. Hatching will take about 48-52 days. Organisations such as Clean Kundapura Project, FSL India and Reef watch are supporting this project.
Closely monitored

Four department staff are deputed to monitor the nesting sites that have been fenced with fishing nets to protect the eggs from predators.
The Clean Kundapura project undertaken every Sunday has played an important role in cleaning the beaches. Volunteers have completed 85 weeks of beach cleaning. Bharath Bangera of the Clean Kundapura project said, “We think there are more nesting sites. Those that have been spotted are being protected as these areas are the ones volunteers cleaned during the Sunday drives. We are excited,” he said.
Generally, the nesting season is from September to December. But this year, it has been prolonged probably due to climate change, says Dinesh. The forest department is leading the conservation initiatives and locals saythat it is after five years that the nesting sites have been spotted, he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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