Mandapam Wildlife Range Sets Highest Turtle Egg Collection Record in 2021
2021 has become the record-breaking year for turtle egg collection in Mandapam Wildlife Range, Tamil Nadu. Mandapam is a panchayat town located in Ramanathapuram district, where fishing is the main occupation of residents. Despite this fact, Mandapam Wildlife Range collected 19,667 Olive Ridley eggs and therefore set the highest record in turtle egg collection this year.
Last year, only 5,433 eggs were collected, due to unfavorable weather conditions like tides and heavy rainfall, confirmed the Mandapam Forest Range officer G. Venkatesh.
Lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic may have turned out to be a bane for humans but it has definitely culminated as a boon for the environment. The advantageous climatic conditions and reduced fishing rate amid lockdown led to this improved condition of the marine ecosystem.
This year the nesting season started on January 11. The eggs were collected from 176 nests along the 25 kilometre stretch between Arichalmunai and Dhanushkodi and hatched at the Mr. Chathiram and Paradi hatcheries. In Thoothukudi and Keelakarai range, 1,960 and 1,054 eggs were collected respectively, adding to a total collection of 22,681 eggs in the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park this year.
The collected eggs have been kept at Mukundarayar Chathiram Hatchery, Venkatesh stated. It takes 48 to 55 days for the eggs to hatch. Last month a batch of 200 newly born Olive Ridley turtles were released in the sea.
Along with the favorable climatic conditions, an increase in awareness among the fisherfolk about sea turtles has substantially contributed to the risen number of Olive Ridley eggs. Government schemes and awareness programs would help grow the egg statistics next year, mentioned Mr. Venkatesh.
Via: The Hindu