The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a beautiful and important species of sea turtle that is found in oceans around the world.
The green turtle is one of the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles, with adult females weighing up to 200 kilograms and measuring up to 1.5 meters in length. They have a distinctive heart-shaped shell that is generally a dark green color, with yellow or brown accents. They have four flippers, which they use to swim through the water, and a powerful beak that they use to eat their food.
Green sea turtles are known to lay multiple clutches of eggs in a nesting season, with an average of 3-5 clutches per season. The number of eggs laid in each clutch can vary, but typically ranges from 100-200 eggs. However, some larger females have been known to lay up to 300 eggs in a single clutch.
It’s important to note that not all of the eggs laid will hatch and result in adult turtles. Some eggs may be infertile, while others may be predated or destroyed by environmental factors such as flooding or erosion.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that green sea turtles are protected under various conservation laws and international agreements due to their threatened status, so it is illegal to disturb their nests or take their eggs in many areas.
Habitat and Food Habits
In India, green turtles are found along the coasts of the eastern and western seaboards, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. They are also found in smaller numbers along the southern coast, particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu. Green turtles are typically found in shallow waters close to shore, where they can feed on seagrasses, algae, and other marine plants.
The green turtle is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The main threats to their survival are habitat loss, pollution, and overharvesting of their eggs and meat. In India, there are several conservation programs and initiatives aimed at protecting green turtles, including efforts to monitor nesting beaches, reduce pollution, and establish protected marine areas.
Steps being taken to save them
One of the key steps being taken to save green turtles in India is the protection of their nesting beaches. Many beaches in India are important nesting sites for green turtles, and conservation organizations are working to protect these beaches from human encroachment and disturbance.
Another important step is reducing pollution in the oceans, which can harm green turtles by entangling them in plastic debris or ingesting harmful pollutants. Efforts to reduce plastic waste and regulate industrial and agricultural pollution are crucial for protecting green turtles and other marine wildlife.
Finally, there are ongoing efforts to establish protected marine areas, where green turtles and other marine wildlife can thrive without the risk of being caught in fishing gear or other human activities. These protected areas can help to preserve the natural habitats and food sources of green turtles, allowing them to reproduce and maintain healthy populations.
Where to See Green Turtles in India
To see green turtles in India, the best time to visit is between November and February, when they come ashore to lay their eggs. Some of the best places to observe nesting green turtles in India are the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park in Tamil Nadu, and the protected marine areas off the coast of Gujarat. Visitors should take care not to disturb nesting turtles or their eggs and should follow all local conservation guidelines to help protect these endangered animals.