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Olive Ridley turtles lay over 9K eggs in South Goa


Panaji, Feb 22 (IANS) Olive Ridley turtles, who make beeline for Canacona beaches in South Goa to nest, have so far laid 9,213 eggs at Agonda and Galjibaga beaches, officials said on Wednesday Not only officials of the Forest Department, but locals and also tourists also take care that they are not disturbed during the period of nesting. Talking to IANS, Rajesh Naik, in charge of the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in South Goa, said that the nesting season had commenced from November 16 and till now, the turtles are seen laying eggs. “Every year Olive Ridley turtles come to these beaches to lay eggs. We have dedicated staff to keep vigil and take care of them and the eggs they lay. We see that they don’t face any harm from anyone. As the nesting sites come under CRZ, there are no (commercial) activities here and hence turtles are not disturbed,” he added. Naik said that Agonda hosts 67 pits at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and has so far 7171 eggs preserved, while Galjibaga has 21 pits with 2,042 eggs. “So far, 9213 eggs have been laid. More are expected as last week two females arrived and laid eggs,” he said. He said that the Olive Ridley Turtles are one of the most seasoned visitors to the Canacona beaches and hence, forest staff dedicate themselves to protect them. Naik said that as the nesting season unfolds in November, forest guards are deployed at the nesting sites to keep a vigil for female turtles heading towards the shore to lay eggs. He said that once a nest is sighted, the clutch of eggs is soon relocated to the protected hatcheries. “Their incubating period is of 45 to 60 days, the hatchlings are then released into the water for their future course,” he said. Agonda and Galjibaga are the most famous sites in Canacona-South Goa, where Olive Ridley turtles are spotted for nesting.–IANSsbk/vd

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