The olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is a medium-sized species of sea turtle found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Atlantic Ocean.
The name for this sea turtle is tied to the color of its shell. They are carnivores in nature.
Olive Ridley Turtles are best known for their behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers called ‘Arribada’
Nesting period: From October to early summer
In the Indian Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest in two or three large groups near Gahirmatha in Odisha. The coast of Odisha in India is the largest mass nesting site for the olive ridley, followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica.
Conservation status: Vulnerable according to the (IUCN) and is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
Protection under The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles
Threats: Incidental take, particularly in shrimp trawl nets and near shore gill nets, direct harvest of eggs and adults for their meat and skin, Marine pollution (including oil spills) and debris.
To reduce accidental killing in India, the Orissa government has made it mandatory for trawls to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), a net specially designed with an exit cover which allows the turtles to escape while retaining the catch. However, this has been strongly opposed by the fishing communities as they believe TEDs result in loss of considerable amount of the catch along with the turtle. WWF-India, along with its partners, disproved this theory by conducting a study to measure the loss of catch through TEDs, revealing the loss to be a very small percentage of the total catch. This result, along with regular meetings with the fishing communities, is slowly helping to change their mindset and encourage use of TEDs, thereby aiding the conservation of Olive ridley turtles.
SEE TURTLES: It is a non-profit organization that protects sea turtles through conservation travel and volunteer tours, educational programs, and Billion Baby Turtles.