OLIVE RIDLEY TURTLE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     27th February 2024        
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Context: Recently, the failure to comply with a two-decade-old order issued by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) is likely the primary cause of the deaths of a large number of Olive Ridley sea turtles along the Odisha coast each year.

Olive Ridley Turtle

  • About: The species is the second-smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
  • Habitat Distribution: Temperate waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. 

oThe Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in Odisha is renowned as the largest rookery, serving as a breeding colony for sea turtles worldwide.

  • Sea Turtles in India: Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Green and Olive Ridley.
  • Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary: It is recognized as the largest breeding colony (rookery) of sea turtles globally.
  • Threats: Habitat Destruction, Effects of Pollution, Change in Climate Condition, Fishing and Poaching.
  • Conservation Status

oIUCN Red List: Vulnerable

oWildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule 1

oCITES: Appendix I

Central Empowered Committee (CEC)

  • About: The CEC was established by an Order dated 9th May 2002, issued by the Supreme Court of India in the case of T.N. Godavarman Thirumalpad Vs Union of India and Ors.
  • Monitoring Mandate: Its primary function is the monitoring of the implementation of the orders issued by the Hon’ble Court, which includes overseeing cases of non-compliance.
  • Scope: The CEC's monitoring extends to various aspects such as encroachment removals, adherence to working plans, compensatory afforestation, plantations, and other conservation matters.