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Over 4,400 Olive Ridley turtles let out into sea from hatchery

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-05-2014 PTI

Nagapattinam: Over 4,400 Olive Ridley turtles, an endangered species, have been let out into the sea over the past three months from a government run hatchery at Kodiakarai in the district, a forest department official said.

Forest Ranger Gopinathan said Kodiakarai and Vedaranyam areas attract a large number of Ridleys each year during the December-March nesting season. Female Ridleys travel towards the coast to lay around 100 eggs and return to the sea. The hatching period ranges around 60 days.

However predators like dogs, crows and vultures eat the eggs and only a handful successfully hatch, he said. The Wildlife department’s hatchery at Kodiakarai lets out the young ones to the sea, which is their natural habitat, the sources said, adding that the life span of Olive Ridleys ranges from 60 to 300 years.

Gopinathan said the Department has set up egg collection centres at six points along Veadaranyam coast. This year a total of 5,098 eggs were collected and a total of 4,443 Olive Ridleys from the hatchery were let out into the sea in the past three months, he added.

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