Turtles Rescued In Velas


Motivated with the idea of safeguarding the endangered turtle species, turtle rescuers in Konkan have taken concrete steps to conserve them.

Working towards this goal for over a decade now, turtle rescuers in Velas in Konkan have rescued around 19,000 turtles till date. The Sahyadri Nature Friends Circle in Velas started working for conservation of this species in the year 2002.

This time, the Nature Friend Circle in the village rescued around 18 turtles, and this was achieved with participation of tourists who were attending the Turtle and Dolphin Tourism Festival at Velas beach in Murud Janjira. 

A unique and endangered species of turtles - Olive Ridley - is found in Velas. It is this species that the Nature Friend Circle along with Gram Panchayat are striving to safeguard.

Female turtles come ashore to lay eggs and at a time at least 100-150 eggs are layed. But there is an acute chance of these eggs being damaged by humans, dogs or others animals. What this nature friends circle does is, they create a border around these eggs and protect them from being damaged.  Incubation takes about 45-65 days. The eggs in one nest hatch together over a very short period of time. When ready, hatchlings tear their shells apart with their snout and dig through the sand. Turtles are usually rescued in the sea early in the morning at 6 am or 6pm in the evening. There are also barricades put out on the the beach so that the rescue activity is done without any hassle. 

To take care of this endangered species, which are usually stolen, the Government of India has also included these species in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. 

Nature lovers and turtle rescuers have asked people to avoid strolling around the beach during night and avoid using flash lights during night-time.

Apart from doing their bit towards nature, the Turtle and Dolphin Tourism Festival in Murud-Janjira proved to be a treat for the tourists who visited the festival. There was mouth-watering Konkani delicacy, traditional folk art among others that made the festival worth appreciating by the tourists.  




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