Monday, March 2, 2009

End of the walk

This was a rather sad way for a 'Turtle Walk' to end; seeing a dead one washed up on the shore. Unfortunately, it is a sight that is becoming far too common. The eastern seaboard of India has nesting grounds for many of the seven known species of the turtle. Listed as 'Vulnerable' on the IUCN's Red List, the Olive Ridley is the most common visitor to the beaches of Chennai. Knowing the popular attractions, the Olive Ridleys have been careful to avoid the Marina, preferring the lesser known and therefore lesser expensive stretchs of the beach.

Trudging through beach sand for around 7 hours, looking for the nests or even for a lighthouse in the neighbourhood is not an ideal way to spend Saturday evening. But having done that, it is something that I would n't have missed. We walked for about 7 hours, from 1230 pm to 0330 and many of the group were disappointed at not having seen the maginicant turtles come up from the sea to lay their eggs, as they have been programmed to do over several generations. It is said that the Olive Ridley comes back to the spot where she was born, to lay her eggs.

In recent years, the turtle populations are faced with several disadvantages: the worst is from mechanized trawlers, whose nets are srong enough to go through the soft flesh of a the turtle's flipper or its neck, even. This one shows all the signs of having been strangulated - extremely sad. The redeeming part of the walk was watching 3 hatchlings struggle to walk for element: life does find a way, many times!


5 comments:

lviss said...

The biggest enemy of any species in the world is the man in some form or the other.

Shantaram said...

@ lviss: We are the seeds of our own destruction, you mean?

Archana said...

I would like to take part in the turtle walk. So if you have any info on it, do let me know! Mail on archana.kc@gmail.com

Shantaram said...

@ Archana: You can get in touch with them on sstcnchennai@gmail.com - I've also mailed you a few contact numbers, not sure how current they are...

Archana said...

Thanks for your prompt response! I did not receive a mail from you regarding the numbers - Will mail them today! Thanks again