The Olive Ridley Turtle is among the lesser endangered of those which are in jeopardy, yet it is still endangered to a great degree.
The Olive Ridley Turtle is a small turtle which mates only once per year and when it does makes it’s nesting areas on only five areas world wide. Among them are Costa Rica, Mexico, and the coast of Northern India.
When the Olive Ridley nests great numbers of the species will crawl ashore at the same time in order to lay their eggs on the warm sands of the coastal beaches.
Olive Ridley Turtle
These turtles have evolved this strategy in order to leave more eggs than the natural predators will take from them and thus most of the babies will survive.
Unfortunately this pattern does not allow for the activity of one of the most dangerous and tenacious of predators; man.
Orissa India is one area where the turtles visit in order to lay their eggs. Once they arrive in India, fishermen set netting or using mechanical means drown the turtles by keeping them caught in the devices.
Although there is in place a 4 mile zone of protection from the shore, the fishermen will defy the legal methods of protection for the turtles and continue to kill them. Estimations are that over 150,000 of these turtles have been killed in the last ten years.
South America too, where the turtles go to breed, as well as Central America is not safe havens for the Olive Ridly. Here there is a very broad illegal market for the turtle’s eggs, which have been traditionally used as aphrodisiacs.
They are targeted for the eggs rather than the animals themselves however the end result is the same. The small turtles don’t live and don’t replace those which are being killed brutally in other places.
Not long ago, a truck was stopped in Mexico City which held over half a million turtle eggs, all of which were taken from just one beach. Each of those small turtles might have replaced another which was taken, but did not.
The Olive Ridley turtle is hunted for its meat, its skin and also its shell. Although the hunting has in fact closed, it has not in any way halted. We as human beings need to take responsibility for assuming the survival of those which are left to us, by writing to the governments involved and asking that they prosecute those who defy the laws which protect the Olive Ridley turtle.
You can help to protect the Olive Ridley turtle by linking to this article from your website or blog, facebook or myspace and help bring awareness to what’s really happening to the Olive Ridley Turtle.