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Pleasant surprise for Ecuadorian town as endangered turtles hatch unannounced

Source: UNTVWeb/Reuters

Dozens of endangered baby Olive Ridley turtles hatched unexpectedly at a popular Ecuadorian beach in the seaside town of Same this week, the first time it was known to happen in that area.

Hatchlings emerge in new breeding grounds in Ecuador

Some 11,000 turtles were born in Same’s province of Esmeraldas last year, reported Reuters on Monday, but the shift to new breeding grounds indicate humans were disturbing traditional spawning, an environment official said. The local government cordoned off the areas where sea turtles were sighted on Same beach.

They usually spawn on the coasts of Central America, Ecuador, and Peru. After 25 years they return to the beach where they were born to breed again. Females dig a pit and lay more than 100 eggs which hatch together at night around 50 days later.
The Olive Ridley is among the smallest of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. They usually spawn on the coasts of Central America, Ecuador, and Peru. After 25 years they return to the beach where they were born to breed again. Females dig a pit and lay more than 100 eggs which hatch together at night around 50 days later. Source: wikiMediaCommons

The baby turtles hatched on a beach volleyball court

Some 11,000 turtles were born in Same’s province of Esmeraldas last year, reported Reuters on Monday, but the shift to new breeding grounds indicate humans were disturbing traditional spawning, an environment official said.

“We understand that it can be because of the amount of light and infrastructure that exists in the common spawning beaches,” said Joel Casanova, the director of environmental management for Atacames municipality.

The low-lit beach of Same, surrounded by holiday homes, suited the Olive Ridley turtle better for their nests, Casanova said.

For anyone observing the hatching, Casanova recommends not intervene with nature.

Sanctions have been established to punish those who are caught stealing the turtles.

The local government cordoned off the areas where sea turtles were sighted on Same beach. These little ones hatched on a beach volleyball court.

Olive Ridley turtles, found in the Americas and Asia, are listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, although their numbers seem to be rising in the Pacific because of conservation measures.

Olive Ridley Turtle Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (2007).

Source: UNTVWeb/Reuters 

The Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles, growing up to 70 cm and weighing 45 kg, on average. Males and females grow to the same size; however, females have a slightly more rounded carapace. Olive ridley turtles in the Indian Ocean are, on average, smaller than individuals found in the Pacific and Atlantic.
The olive ridley was named for the olive colour of its heart-shaped shell. The Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles, growing up to 70 cm and weighing 45 kg, on average. Males and females grow to the same size; however, females have a slightly more rounded carapace. Olive ridley turtles in the Indian Ocean are, on average, smaller than individuals found in the Pacific and Atlantic. Source: Unsplash/JeremyBishop
They measure around 38mm long and weigh 17g at birth. Olive ridley turtles have a varied diet, eating algae, lobsters, crabs, tunicates, jellyfish, shrimp, fish, and fish eggs. They can dive to depths of over 150 metres to find food. In the open ocean, they eat just about anything they can find.
Hatchling Olive ridley turtles are charcoal grey with a greenish hue along their sides. They measure around 38mm long and weigh 17g at birth. Olive ridley turtles have a varied diet, eating algae, lobsters, crabs, tunicates, jellyfish, shrimp, fish, and fish eggs. They can dive to depths of over 150 metres to find food. In the open ocean, they eat just about anything they can find. Source: SusieGibson/OliveRidleyProject
Many females nest every year, some twice a season, laying clutches of approximately 100-110 eggs, which take from 45 to 65 days to hatch. The nesting female leaves track marks that are 70-80 cm wide and have asymmetrical forelimb marks. Tail drag marks are absent.
Olive ridley turtles reach sexual maturity at approximately 15 years of age, an early age compared to other sea turtles. Many females nest every year, some twice a season, laying clutches of approximately 100-110 eggs, which take from 45 to 65 days to hatch. The nesting female leaves track marks that are 70-80 cm wide and have asymmetrical forelimb marks. Tail drag marks are absent. Source: SusieGibson/OliveRidleyProject
An arribada is a mass-nesting event when thousands of turtles come ashore at the same time to lay eggs on the same beach. More commonly, Olive ridley turtles nest in a dispersed way (individual nesters are not synchronous). In certain places, some females can use both strategies.
Olive ridley turtles use three different strategies to nest: arribadas, solitary nests and mixed strategy. An arribada is a mass-nesting event when thousands of turtles come ashore at the same time to lay eggs on the same beach. More commonly, Olive ridley turtles nest in a dispersed way (individual nesters are not synchronous). In certain places, some females can use both strategies. Source: SusieGibson/OliveRidleyProject
They can dive to depths of over 150 metres to find food. In the open ocean, they eat just about anything they can find. The Olive ridley turtles are globally distributed in the tropical regions of the South Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Olive ridley turtles have a varied diet, eating algae, lobsters, crabs, tunicates, jellyfish, shrimp, fish, and fish eggs. They can dive to depths of over 150 metres to find food. In the open ocean, they eat just about anything they can find. The Olive ridley turtles are globally distributed in the tropical regions of the South Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Source: OliveRidleyProject.org
Fishermen have spotted (and caught) adult Olive ridleys over 4,000 km from land in the Pacific.
Olive ridleys often migrate thousands of kilometres between pelagic feeding and coastal breeding grounds. Fishermen have spotted (and caught) adult Olive ridleys over 4,000 km from land in the Pacific. Source: OliveRidleyProject
He wanted to understand the phenomenon of olive ridley sea turtles drifting into the Maldives entangled in ghost nets and identify where the ghost nets originate from. Since then, Olive Ridley Project volunteers have removed more than 1400 ghost nets and recorded 812 trapped turtles: olive ridleys make up 89% of the trapped turtles recorded. (Numbers accurate as of July 2019.) Click link for more on the Olive Ridley Project ?
The Olive Ridley Project was founded in 2013 by Biologist Martin Stelfox in response to the large amounts of entangled olive ridley sea turtles he encountered in the Maldives: He wanted to understand the phenomenon of olive ridley sea turtles drifting into the Maldives entangled in ghost nets and identify where the ghost nets originate from. Since then, Olive Ridley Project volunteers have removed more than 1400 ghost nets and recorded 812 trapped turtles: olive ridleys make up 89% of the trapped turtles recorded. (Numbers accurate as of July 2019.) Click link for more on the Olive Ridley Project ? Source: OliveRidleyProject.org
'A historic moment' as Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings emerge on Versova Beach, a coastline once buried under tons of plastic trash. Click link for full story ?
SEA TURTLES RETURN TO NEST ON MUMBAI BEACH AFTER 20 YEARS ‘A historic moment’ as Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings emerge on Versova Beach, a coastline once buried under tons of plastic trash. Click link for full story ? Source: BrightVibes
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