Thursday, February 01, 2007

RUSHIKULYA- Watching Olive Ridleys in Sea

13, January 2007

A pair of Olive Ridleys mate off the Rushikulya coast

Purunabandha is a village near the mouth of the river Rushikulya. This is part of the largest Olive Ridley sea turtle rookery which historically stretched across Orissa's coast. Now mass- nesting or "arribada" occurs only at two places- Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and Rushikulya. It has stopped happening in the Devi river mouth since about a decade now.

A Ghost Crab

Rushikulya is not a Wildlife Sanctuary and the turtles are monitored and protected by a group of dynamic young villagers headed by Rabi Sahu. They have formed a committee called the "Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee" or RSTPC. Mass nesting hadn't started when we visited and we got to see only mating congregations. Rabi very helpfully arranged a boat for us and showed us RSTPC's highly informative and very well equipped interpretation center.


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