Orissa factory turns lights off to let turtles breed

BHUBANESWAR - A chemical factory in Orissa has been keeping dozens of halogens lights switched off for the past two days to ensure mass nesting of endangered Olive Ridley turtles in a nearby beach, an official said Tuesday.

Jayashree Chemicals, which is four kilometres from the nesting site of turtles in Ganjam district, decided to switch of the lights on the advice of wildlife officials.

In the past two days, nearly 200,000 turtles have climbed ashore for mass nesting at the mouth of the river Rushikulya in the district, which is about 175 km from here.

‘Lights disrupt or disorient nesting turtles and emerging hatchlings. Therefore, every year we direct the factory authorities to put off the light during the nesting time and they usually do that,’ divisional forest officer A.K. Jena told IANS.

‘This year also they decided to keep at least 30 halogens lights switched off from Sunday night,’ he added.

Orissa is home to more than 50 percent of the world’s turtle population. Besides Ganjam, the other mass nesting sites are Gahirmatha in the district of Kendrapada and Devi river mouth in the district of Puri.

‘No mass nesting has occurred this year yet in Gahirmatha and Devi beaches so far,’ the official said.

The Olive Ridley turtle, which can grow up to 75 cm in length, is found in tropical regions of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In India, they are protected under Wildlife Protection Act.


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