A Victory for Volunteerism! V. Arun

The turtle season of 2010-2011 was one of the most extraordinary in recent years. It was always believed that olive ridley nesting did not happen on the Marina stretch because of anthropogenic pressures on that beach. But sometimes people would spot nesting turtles or nests and would bring us the eggs to relocate in our hatchery. So we made a decision to undertake patrolling of the Marina as well.

As our responsibility increased to include two stretches both covering over 7 Kms each, we tried to employ people as we were afraid the load of covering both stretches would be too much for our volunteers.

Although we tried for over a month, we were unable to get anyone responsible or reliable. As a result the job had to be undertaken wholly by volunteers.

It was a very successful nesting season with 85 nests relocated into the Besant Nagar hatchery and 80 nests into the Marina hatchery. Intense patrolling by the volunteers ensured that nests were not left undetected on the beach as this would surely mean disorientation for the emerging hatchlings due to lights, or risk of them being caught by dogs or crabs.

This involved monitoring the two hatcheries through the day as well as late nights and early mornings. We managed to release a total of 14, 238 hatchlings which is the highest number in many years.

Students from schools, and colleges as well as families, joined our walks every weekend. In the evenings, children too young to join night walks came regularly to the hatchery and participated with great excitement in the hatchling release.

Overall it was an extremely successful season and we felt all the hard work and enthusiasm that went in, really paid off.

Read all about it and more in this article: