Tagging of Olive Ridleys by ZSI

With an aim to track the migration path of endangered olive ridleys in the off-shore waters of Odisha, the Zoological Survey of India has started tagging the turtles.

Key Points

  • Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) took 6 olive ridley turtles floating in the deepwater of the Bay of Bengal and attached the tags to them and released them back in the sea.
  • These tags are made of aluminum.
  • The six turtles that were tagged included four females and two males.
  • The scientists have recorded the basic information like the length and weight of these 6 turtles.
  • As per ZSI, it will be tagging 30,000 turtles to know their movement and migration path.
  • At present, the turtles are mating in the Bay of Bengal and would come to the Rushikulya beach to lay eggs in February.
  • The Rushikulya beach is one of the largest mass nesting sites for sea turtles. Last year, a total of 3,23,062 sea turtles were cited there.
  • Lakhs of endangered turtles assemble for mass nesting along the Odisha coast including the Rushikulya river mouth, Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, and the Devi river mouth every year.

Wildlife Institute of India (WII)

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) also conducted a similar study in 2007-2010 to determine the migration path of turtles. According to the WII study, the olive ridley turtles, which had then come to Odisha beaches for mass nesting, were found on the shores of Sri Lanka and even the Andaman islands.

The Odisha government had recently requested the WII to conduct a fresh study for determining the migration path of sea turtles.