Natural and anthropogenic threats to olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) at the rushikulya rookery of Orissa

An assessment of various threats to the olive ridley turtles at Rushikulya rookery of Orissa in India was investigated during 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. Data on adult mortality, predation of eggs and juveniles, beach erosion and Casuarina plantation along the beach were collected. Turtle mortality was low at Rushikulya compared to rest of the Orissa coast. However, other anthropogenic pressures such as Casuarina plantation close to high tide level, beach erosion and artificial illumination that have emerged as visible threats at this rookery. Protection of nests and minimization of artificial illumination are some of the immediate steps required for safeguarding sea turtles at the Rushikulya rookery.

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