Hundreds of mother turtles lay eggs in daylight, taking observers by surprise
Olive ridley turtles are posing new riddles for observers at the Rushikulya rookery coast in Odisha this year.
First they returned weeks after the mass nesting period to lay eggs again at the coast, and now they are daring the summer sun to nest in large numbers in broad daylight, ignoring their normal practice of nesting during night or early morning.
On Friday, hundreds of olive ridleys were seen coming out of the sea to nest in the hot sand during the daytime.
“The real number of nesting during the day is still being assimilated from different zones of mass nesting coast. But it is for sure that more than 1,000 olive ridleys have nested during the daytime on Friday,” said Forest Department Ranger Dilip Kumar Martha, who is posted at the Rushikulya rookery.
Since April 19 morning, this coast is witnessing an interesting phenomenon of recurrence of mass nesting of olive ridleys even as hatching of eggs laid during the mass nesting in February is still continuing.
According to Mr. Martha, till Thursday night over 12,400 mother turtles had nested during their second phase of mass nesting at the Rushikulya coast.
On Friday, nesting of olive ridleys did not stop even when sun went up in the sky. Through out the day mother turtles continued to dig up nests and lay eggs between Podampeta and Gokharkuda villages on the coastline. Their nesting was continuing till evening.
Daytime nesting is not unprecedented at this mass nesting site. On February 15, 2013, mass nesting had started at noon and continued till evening at the Rushikulya coast.