Climate change impacting Maharashtra’s Olive Ridley turtles’ nesting patterns

The Mangrove Foundation commissioned by the state government of Maharashtra has recently issued a report which studies the incubation temperature of nests of the Olive Ridley turtles has found the changes in the nesting patterns of the reptiles.


The study has exhibited that rising temperature and climate change patterns have forced the species to shift their nesting season and have directly impacted the incubation temperature of Olive Ridley turtles along the Maharashtra coast.

Olive Ridley sea turtles are found in warm tropical currents of the Indian and Pacific oceans and travel thousands of kilometres in the sea and only the females return to the shores to lay eggs during their nesting season. The temperature hence plays a vital role in the development and growth of the embryos and the survival of the hatchlings after birth. Global warming is a  major threat to these newborn turtles and the warming temperature in the Indian coastal regions has resulted in the population decline of these species as revealed in the study.

To curb the Olive Ridley turtles’ population decline the study has pointed out measures such as the use of sheds, inverted cane baskets with wet jute gunny bags over the hatchery to reduce the temperature of the nest as soon as the temperature crosses 33 degrees Celsius, as well as regular real-time temperature monitoring of the nests.