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April 26, 2018
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 AP prepares ground for safe nesting of Olive Ridley turtles Rookeries are being set up along the coastline; 88,500 eggs conserved in Krishna alone in 2017

The Andhra Pradesh Wildlife authorities have prepared the ground for a safe nesting season for Olive Ridley turtles along the 970-km coastline from the Srikakulam district to the Nellore district. An extensive plan to set up rookeries has been prepared under the in situ conservation method: collection of eggs and release of the hatchlings. The conservation status is ‘Vulnerable’, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red data. After a field study by the forest staff in all the districts to identify the locations, construction of the rookeries was in full swing. Among the identified strategic breeding locations, Baruva, Kalingapatnam, Kakinada, Machilipatnam, Hamsaladeevi and Nagayalanka beaches have been found prime destinations of the turtles for nesting, which commences in January and ends in May. “We have increased the number of rookeries from five in the last breeding season to 10 given the nesting grounds recorded along the coastline in Krishna district last year. Five new locations have been identified to set up the rookeries,” Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife – Eluru) V. Saibaba told The Media.

The five new places include Lankavenidibba, Nachugunta and Sorlagondi where mass nesting was observed in the previous seasons. In Krishna district alone including the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary, more than 88,500 eggs were conserved in the last season. The fisherfolk have already been alerted to be vigilant to rescue the turtles from the fishing nets. Students will be educated on the conservation method and the need for care by the local communities. “We are planning to keep open the rookeries for display for the students and local communities to showcase our efforts,” said Mr. Saibaba.