Rushikulya Estuary -The Haven on Earth
                  Olive Ridley
Olive Ridleys are probably the most abundant sea turtle species globally.  In one of nature's greatest spectacles, Olive Ridleys come ashore simultaneously by the hundreds and thousands to nest    
Mass Nesting  started from 10th Feb 2014 midnight.  Odisha CoastOlive Ridley sea turtles come to Odisha coasts for nesting in large numbers. Hence the activity is termed 'mass nesting' or 'arribada'. Worldwide attention is focused on the conservation of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle in Odisha because about 50% of the total world population of Olive Ridleys, and  90% of the Indian population of sea turtles been coming every year . 

Scientific Name   Lepidochelys  olivacea

Type :  Reptile , Status :  Vulnerable

Distribution:  Nesting sites all over the world, on tropical and subtropical beaches

Body Size (adults)  : Length 60-70 cm; mass up to 70 kg

Life span in the wild : Average 50 years.

Diet :  For all life stages, mostly benthic invertebrates (e.g. crabs of all types, other crustaceans; mollusks) and sometimes jellies

Hatchling emerge :  : 45 - 58 days after incubation

Reproduction  :  Every 1-3 yr; ~1-3 clutches of eggs per season; 90-130 eggs per clutch; ~30 g grams each (ping-pong ball size); ~25mm in length and weigh ~15- 20grams).Once a nest has been completed, the female never returns to it. The eggs and resulting hatchlings are left to fend for themselves and locate the water upon emerging.

Gender : The temperature of the nest determines a hatchling's gender. This is called Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination (TSD). Warmer temperatures produce mostly females, and cooler temperatures produce a majority of males. There is a pivotal temperature that produces an equal ratio of males and females. The temperature determining sex ratio differs between species and nest location.


Threats :  Beach erosion, non-human predation, exploitation for meat and eggs, Casuarina plantations & Mechanised fishing Boats (More details) .

Odisha coast  favorable for  sea  turtles  :  Odisha coast is crises-crossed by estuary, rivers, creeks and creek lets,  Land  inundated by the saline  and sweet water and covered with mangroves, Estuaries are the breeding and spawning grounds fishes, prawns, crabs and mollusks.  The river mouth becomes the feeding ground of the sea turtles from October to May , therefore they having migrated over large distances in the sea to feed  and nesting. 

About 50% of the total world population of Olive Ridleys, and  90% of the Indian population of sea turtles been coming every year . Worldwide attention is needed for conservation of this species. 

Nesting period : From October to early summer

Nesting Places of Odisha

Major breeding grounds:- Rushikulya  , Dhamra  and Devi  estuary

Minor breeding grounds:- Mahanadi, Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga, Keluni & Bahuda estuary