Much like most of the world, the human population in India remains on lockdown – and thousands of sea turtles have taken advantage of the unusually quiet beaches.

According to an article on the India Times, this has taken place in east India along the coast of the state of Odisha, and is something that has not been witnessed for a long time. The article said that local protection authorities did their best to ensure that the spawning occurred in a protected way, and that the news came shortly after another mass nesting on Gahirmatha beach.

Thousands of olive ridley (also known as pacific ridley) sea turtles came ashore to nest on Rushikulya beach, the result of a safer, quieter and more protected nesting environment. Usually, fishing and tourism activities would have deterred and disturbed nesting turtles, however these activities are now restricted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Olive Ridley turtle arribada. Image from
Olive Ridley turtle arribada. Image from

According to WWF India, the olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. These turtles are best known for their unique mass nesting called arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs. Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years, and the species is recognized as vulnerable by the IUCN red list.

Images displayed are from the Olive Ridley Project.

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