The Maharashtra forest department has documented a green sea turtle nesting site in the state for the first time, a marine biologist said on Sunday.
Marine biologist Harshad Karve, who works with the Mangrove Foundation, an autonomous body under the state forest department, said 74 hatchlings emerged from a turtle nest in Devbag-Tarkarli in Sindhudurg district on March 5.
On January 11, volunteers spotted a turtle, which was larger than the Olive Ridley turtles that normally have nesting sites at this beach at Devbag-Tarkarli, he said.
“The volunteers were not able to identify the turtle, so they sent us photographs. To our surprise, it turned out to be a green sea turtle. This is for the first time that a green sea turtle nesting site has been documented in Maharashtra,” Karve said.
The nesting by a green sea turtle, which are four to six metres long, gives a fillip to sea turtle conservation in these areas as well as the state, he added.
Five turtle species are found in Maharashtra and all of these are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, with the Olive Ridley being the most common, the expert said. He added that the coastal districts of Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg are known for turtle nesting sites.
With PTI inputs.