Celebrating World Turtle Day: The Olive Ridley Turtle

May 23- World Turtle Day: The Olive Ridley Turtle
Reading Time: 3 minutes

May 23- World Turtle Day: The Olive Ridley Turtle. Image: Unsplash

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Celebrating World Turtle Day: The Olive Ridley Turtle

May 23 is World Turtle Day, a day to raise awareness about the importance of protecting turtles and their disappearing habitats worldwide. Turtles and tortoises are some of the oldest and most primitive creatures on Earth, dating back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the planet.

Turtles play important roles in our ecosystems because they help maintain ecological balance by controlling populations of certain species. They contribute to habitat engineering, which creates microhabitats for other species. Turtles play a role in nutrient cycling by consuming plants and animals and then excreting waste.

Many turtle species face various threats, including habitat loss and degradation, pollution in water bodies, climate change, overharvesting and illegal trade, bycatch, and diseases. These threats make conservation efforts crucial to protecting turtle populations.

One species of turtle that is being protected by national laws, international treaties, and agreements is the Olive Ridley turtle.

The Olive Ridley turtle is considered to be the most abundant sea turtle in the world and is found in the coastal waters of at least 80 countries. They are found in tropical regions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. In the Pacific, the Olive Ridley turtle prefers beaches of Mexico south to Columbia, and in the Indian Ocean, they are found in Earth India and Sri Lanka. Upward of 521,000 nests are laid every year on Indian beaches alone.

The Olive Ridley turtle gets its name from the color of its heart-shaped shell. The shell starts out grey but becomes olive green once the turtles become adults. Western Atlantic olive ridleys are usually darker than Eastern Pacific olive ridleys.

The Olive Ridley turtle feels on both plants and animals and can be found foraging for invertebrates to depths of about 150 meters. Their dietary habits play a role in maintaining the health of marine ecosystems by controlling the populations of these organisms. Adult turtles are relatively small, averaging 2 to 2.5 feet in length and 80 to 110 pounds in weight. They are the smallest of all sea turtles.

The number of Olive Ridley turtles has dramatically reduced due to the overexploitation of turtle meat and eggs. They are also bycatch in fishing gear (primarily in shrimp trawl nets and nearshore gill nets). Coastal development and rising seas from climate change are leading to the loss of nesting beach habitat for olive ridley turtles. Additionally, increasing pollution of nearshore and offshore marine habitats threatens all sea turtles and degrades their habitats.

The conservation of Olive Ridley turtles has positively impacted the protection of this species. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regularly monitor Olive Ridley turtle populations. The modification of fishing gear (such as the use of turtle exclusion devices), the changes to fishing practices, and the closures of certain areas to fishing during nesting and hatching seasons have also helped maintain population numbers.

The Olive Ridley turtle is not the only species of turtle that requires protection and conservation. Many other species need our help, not just on World Turtle Day but every day. Here are some ways you can celebrate the day:

  • Donate to turtle conservation centers.
  • Volunteer to help out at a turtle rescue center.
  • Help clean up beaches and local parks by collecting plastic and water bottles.
  • Find out what kind of turtle or tortoise is native to your region.
  • Learn more about turtles and tortoises and how to protect them and their habitat.

By doing our part, we can help protect turtle species and marine environments around the world.

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for exclusive content, original stories, activism awareness, events and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Support Us.

Happy Eco News will always remain free for anyone who needs it. Help us spread the good news about the environment!