Why in news?
The Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district of Odisha is a major mass nesting site for Olive ridley turtles in India.
This year (2017), over 3,85,000 mother turtles reached the coast to lay eggs. Each nest contains around 100 eggs. This means over three crore hatchlings are expected to come out of the nests. On an average, 80 hatchlings come out of each nest.
Olive ridley turtles: Taxonomic and threat status
Scientific Name: Lepidochelys olivacea
IUCN Red List Category: Vulnerable
It is also listed in Appendix I of CITES. This listing is largely responsible for halting the large scale commercial exploitation and trade of Olive Ridley skins.
About the species
They are the smallest of the sea turtles and currently the most abundant.
Their vulnerable status comes from the fact that they nest in a very small number of places, and therefore any disturbance to even one nest beach could have huge repercussions on the entire population.
The name for this sea turtle is tied to the color of its shell—an olive green hue.