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ICMAM-PD. Contents Programme Development Team Introduction Gahirmatha Coast Marine Sanctuary Geomorphology Landuse/Land Cover Marine Turtle Seaturtle.

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Presentation on theme: "ICMAM-PD. Contents Programme Development Team Introduction Gahirmatha Coast Marine Sanctuary Geomorphology Landuse/Land Cover Marine Turtle Seaturtle."— Presentation transcript:

1 ICMAM-PD

2 Contents Programme Development Team Introduction Gahirmatha Coast Marine Sanctuary Geomorphology Landuse/Land Cover Marine Turtle Seaturtle Rookeries Nesting Habit Shifting of Nesting Shoreline changes Marine Organisms Mangrove Threats Suggestions Conclusion Hydrological parameters

3 ICMAM-PD Gahirmatha Coast - Orissa Gahirmatha is a sandy coast, which extends approximately to a stretch of about km from Maipura river mouth in the north to Hansua river mouth in the south. The beach is more or less flat with scattered sand dune of 2-3 m height. The beach spreads to about 80 m above the high tide line with a maximum spread up to 100 m. The vegetation is scanty and represented by Ipomea sp. and Spinifex sp. Wetland, backwater/brackishwater regions are also characteristic features of this coast.

4 ICMAM-PD Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary The Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary extending from 86 o to 87 o E long and 20 o to 20 o N lat covers an area of 1435 sq. km which includes 1408 sq. km. of water body and 27 sq. km. of land mass (Reserve Forest, Mangroves, Mud flats and Sand bar). The notification declaring the Marine Sanctuary was published in the Extraordinary Issue No.1268 dated 17 th October 1997 of Orissa Gazette.

5 ICMAM-PD Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary Core Zone Area of turtle breeding ground of the sanctuary is 725 sq. km. This has an average width of 11 km offshore from Ekkulanasi in the North-East and an average length of 10 km from Barunei muhana to Mahanadi muhana. Buffer Zone Turtle nesting ground stretches over an average length of 10 km where fishing is restricted during the nesting season from November to May.

6 ICMAM-PD Geomorphology The coast of Gahirmatha is a low laying sandy area, drained by the river Baitarani, Brahmani, Dhamra, Maipura, Bansgarh and Ranhansua with commonly occurring tidal creeks and mudflats. A number of sandy islands are found along this coast. Presence of barrier ridge (Barrier island) is an important feature of this area, which protects the sandy islands from erosion. Sandy Islands Ocean Sandy Beach River

7 ICMAM-PD The land use/land cover could be classified into mangroves (136 sq. km), sandy islands (12 sq. km), open shrub (17 sq. km) and settlements (10 sq. km). Dense mangrove vegetation is found in and around Gahirmatha coast. Cultivation is entirely rainfall dependent. A small part of the land is used for paddy cultivation. Land use/ Land cover

8 ICMAM-PD Marine turtles in Gahirmatha Coast Of the five species of sea turtles known to occur in the Indian coast, four species occur in the coastal waters of Orissa - Gahirmatha. In order of abundance these are Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley), Eretmochelys imbricata(hawksbill), Dermochelys coriacea (leather back) and Chelonia mydas (green turtle). Lepidochelys olivacea Click on species Eretmochelys imbricata Dermochelys coriacea Chelonia mydas Lepidochelys olivacea

9 ICMAM-PD Marine turtles in Gahirmatha Coast Click on species Eretmochelys imbricata Dermochelys coriacea Chelonia mydas Lepidochelys olivacea Of the five species of sea turtles known to occur in the Indian coast, four species occur in the coastal waters of Orissa - Gahirmatha. In order of abundance these are Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley), Eretmochelys imbricata(hawksbill), Dermochelys coriacea (leather back) and Chelonia mydas (green turtle).

10 ICMAM-PD Marine turtles in Gahirmatha Coast Click on species Dermochelys coriacea Eretmochelys imbricates Dermochelys coriacea Chelonia mydas Lepidochelys olivacea Of the five species of sea turtles known to occur in the Indian coast, four species occur in the coastal waters of Orissa - Gahirmatha. In order of abundance these are Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley), Eretmochelys imbricata(hawksbill), Dermochelys coriacea (leather back) and Chelonia mydas (green turtle).

11 ICMAM-PD Marine turtles in Gahirmatha Coast Click on species Chelonia mydas Eretmochelys imbricata Dermochelys coriacea Chelonia mydas Lepidochelys olivacea Of the five species of sea turtles known to occur in the Indian coast, four species occur in the coastal waters of Orissa - Gahirmatha. In order of abundance these are Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley), Eretmochelys imbricata(hawksbill), Dermochelys coriacea (leather back) and Chelonia mydas (green turtle).

12 ICMAM-PD Sea turtle rookeries in Orissa Coast Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is the most common species of sea turtle occurring along the east coast of India. These turtles migrate every winter to nest en-mass at three major rookeries viz. Gahirmatha, Devi River, Rushikulya River in this area. GahirmathaR ookery GahirmathaR ookery Devi Rookery Rushikulya Rookery Click on individual rookery site.

13 ICMAM-PD Gahirmatha Rookery The Gahirmatha rookery extending approximately to km long stretch of Orissa coastline, hosts the largest known nesting concentration of olive ridley turtles. About 0.2 to 0.7 million turtles are estimated to be visiting the beach every year for mass nesting. Main

14 ICMAM-PD Devi River Rookery This rookery is located at the Devi river mouth (Jatadhar Muhana to Kadera river mouth) in Cuttack district, 100 km South of Gahirmatha. About 0.05 to 0.1 million turtles visit this region for mass nesting every year (December to April). Main

15 ICMAM-PD Rushikulya River Rookery This rookery is located near Rushikulya river, 300 km South of the Gahirmatha mass nesting beach. It extends to a distance of 6 km from Paruna Bandha village (1 km north of the Rushikulya river mouth) to Kantiagada village. About 0.02 to 0.2 million turtles are estimated to be visiting this beach every year for mass nesting. Main

16 ICMAM-PD Nesting of Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys Olivacea) Nesting of Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys Olivacea) Nesting Environment Nesting Environment Nesting Behaviour Nesting Behaviour Hatchlings Mass Nesting Mass Nesting Mass Nesting Mass Nesting

17 ICMAM-PD Nesting Environment The mass nesting occurred due to the availability of suitable nesting environment like sandy beach, more or less flat topography, presence of wetland, backwater, brackishwater and mangrove vegetation in Gahirmatha coast. Nesting season is from December to the end of April with a peak in the middle of March. Olive ridley turtles appear to nest during night time. Main

18 ICMAM-PD Egg laying After nesting Nesting behaviour Nesting Behaviour Female turtles emerge at night to lay eggs. The turtles make a body pit for about cm and an egg pit of 40 cm depth. The depth of egg pit is equal to the length of the rear flipper. The time taken to complete nesting and laying of olive ridley turtles is about 1½ - 2 hours. The average number of eggs per clutch was found to be 111 (range ).

19 ICMAM-PD Egg laying After nesting Nesting behaviour Nesting Behaviour Female turtles emerge at night to lay eggs. The turtles make a body pit for about cm and an egg pit of 40 cm depth. The depth of egg pit is equal to the length of the rear flipper. The time taken to complete nesting and laying of olive ridley turtles is about 1½ - 2 hours. The average number of eggs per clutch was found to be 111 (range ).

20 ICMAM-PD Main Egg laying After nesting Nesting behaviour Nesting Behaviour Female turtles emerge at night to lay eggs. The turtles make a body pit for about cm and an egg pit of 40 cm depth. The depth of egg pit is equal to the length of the rear flipper. The time taken to complete nesting and laying of olive ridley turtles is about 1½ - 2 hours. The average number of eggs per clutch was found to be 111 (range ).

21 ICMAM-PD Mass Nesting During 1988, 1997 and 1998, only a few thousand turtles visited the coast for nesting. However, a record number of 0.7 million turtles visited the Barrier Island presently called Ekakulanasi, during Table & Chart

22 ICMAM-PD YearNesting Population (Nos.) Source Kar & Bhaskar Kar & Bhaskar Kar & Bhaskar Silas et. al Silas et. al Silas et. al The Samaja (Orissa Newspaper) The Samaja (Orissa Newspaper) The Samaja (Orissa Newspaper) The Samaja (Orissa Newspaper) The Samaja (Orissa Newspaper) The Samaja (Orissa Newspaper) Forest Dept. & RRL Data Forest Dept. & RRL Data Forest Dept. & RRL Data Forest Dept. & RRL Data Nesting Population Main

23 ICMAM-PD The emergence of hatchlings commences about 58 days after egg laying. At the mass nesting site, it was observed that about 6,000 hatchlings emerged from 53 nests in a 100 m stretch. The percentage of live hatchlings emerging from natural nests varied from 51.4 to 95.2 with an average of The hatchlings entering the sea get washed ashore during high tide and they re-enter the sea with subsequent retreating waves. Hatchlings Hatchlings (Mass) Hatch out Entering the sea

24 ICMAM-PD Hatchlings Hatchlings (Mass) Hatch out Entering the sea The emergence of hatchlings commences about 58 days after egg laying. At the mass nesting site, it was observed that about 6,000 hatchlings emerged from 53 nests in a 100 m stretch. The percentage of live hatchlings emerging from natural nests varied from 51.4 to 95.2 with an average of The hatchlings entering the sea get washed ashore during high tide and they re-enter the sea with subsequent retreating waves.

25 ICMAM-PD Hatchlings Main Hatchlings (Mass) Hatch out Entering the sea The emergence of hatchlings commences about 58 days after egg laying. At the mass nesting site, it was observed that about 6,000 hatchlings emerged from 53 nests in a 100 m stretch. The percentage of live hatchlings emerging from natural nests varied from 51.4 to 95.2 with an average of The hatchlings entering the sea get washed ashore during high tide and they re-enter the sea with subsequent retreating waves.

26 ICMAM-PD During the last 20 years, there has been a shifting of mass nesting site towards the north Orissa Coast, owing to gradual change of beach profiles in the Gahirmatha Coast. The newly formed Island is called the Nasi Island where mass nesting continued from 1990 onwards. Shifting of Gahirmatha mass nesting site 1970s: Satabhaya-Ekakula : Gahirmatha-Ekakula : Nasi Island

27 ICMAM-PD Shoreline changes in Gahirmatha The beach erosion and accretion are regular annual phenomena. In May 1989, a cyclonic storm swept across the Gahirmatha coast and fragmented the mass nesting beach. However, currently due to the heavy erosion of this region, the width of the beach is reduced. The shoreline change appears to be the main causative factor for shifting of nesting site of olive ridley turtles in the Gahirmatha coast. DATA Toposheet (SOI) 1972 IRS 1D LISS-III 1998

28 ICMAM-PD Comparative data of beach width in Gahirmatha coast An analysis of the data on the width of the beach available for nesting in Gahirmatha Coast during 1972 vis-à-vis 1998, presented in the table (based on Survey of India Toposheet & IRS 1D LISS III 1998), would reveal a decline in the width at Satabhaya, Gahirmatha and Habalikhati. However, in Ekakula and Ekakulanasi, an increase in the area was evident. The changes in the beach width due to erosion may be attributed as one of the reasons for shifting of nesting site. Name of the place Satabhaya 375 m 198 m Gahirmatha 405 m 101 m Habalikhati 756 m 159 m Ekakula 70 m 123 m Barrier Island 4 sq. km 5 sq. km

29 ICMAM-PD Temperature Temperature plays an important role in the nesting behaviour and incubation of hatching process of sea turtles. The average monthly air temperature data (in o C) in Gahirmatha for 1995 and 1998 are given in the table. Month Min o CMax o CMin o CMax o C January February March April May June July August September October November December

30 ICMAM-PD Rainfall In the present study (1998) the minimum average rainfall of 3.0 mm was observed in January and a maximum average rainfall of 318 mm in September. The average rainfall data (in mm) for 1995 and 1998 are given in table. MonthMonth JanuaryJanuary FebruaryFebruary MarchMarch AprilApril MayMay JuneJune JulyJuly AugustAugust SeptemberSeptember OctoberOctober NovemberNovember DecemberDecember----

31 ICMAM-PD Humidity Humidity is important for inducing the nesting activity and building of nests by the turtles. In the present study, the humidity value was observed to range from 64% to 87% during 1998 in the Gahirmatha coast. The average monthly humidity values (in %) recorded are given in the table. Month hrs17.30 hrs8.30 hrs17.30 hrs January February March April May June July August September October November December

32 ICMAM-PD Hydrological Parameters Physico-chemical parameters were studied during May 98, Nov. 98, and May 1999 in six locations viz., Maipura river, Maipura estuary, Maipura (seaside), Wheeler island, Dhamra river and Ekakula (seaside) region of Gahirmatha coast. Salinity D O SPM Nitrite Nitrate Phosphate Click on individual parameters for more details.

33 ICMAM-PDSalinity The overall salinity ranged from 12.5 to ppt during Lower salinity values were recorded during monsoon and post-monsoon period. Seasonal and station- wise salinity values (in ppt.) are given below. Station Station Season (Month) May-98 Nov-98 May-99 Maipura river Maipura estuary Maipura (seaside) Dhamra river Wheeler Island Ekakula (seaside) Main

34 ICMAM-PD Dissolved Oxygen The Dissolved Oxygen (DO) is an indicator of health of water quality. It ranged from 6.9 mg/l to 12.9 mg/l at Wheeler Island (seaside). Seasonal and station-wise DO values (in mg/l) are given below. Station Station Season (Month) May-98May-98Nov-98Nov-98May99May99 Maipura river Maipura estuary Maipura (seaside) Dhamra river Wheeler Island Ekakula (seaside) Main

35 ICMAM-PD Suspended Matter Suspended matter varied from 4.80 mg/l at seaside of Ekakula to mg/l at Wheeler Island. In summer, suspended solids are generally higher when compared to other seasons. The Table shows Suspended Matter in Gahirmatha coastal waters during Station Station Season (Month) May-98May-98Nov-98Nov-98May-99May-99 Maipura river Maipura estuary Maipura (seaside) Dhamra river Wheeler Island Ekakula (seaside) Main

36 ICMAM-PDNitrite Nitrite content in Gahirmatha coastal waters varied from 0.08 mol/l (at Ekakula) to 12.9 mol/l (at Maipura estuary), as detailed below. Station Station Season (Month) May-98May-98Nov-98Nov-98May-99May-99 Maipura river Maipura estuary Maipura (seaside) Dhamra river Wheeler Island Ekakula (seaside) Main

37 ICMAM-PDNitrate Nitrate content in Maipura river varied from 0.10 mol/l to 5.57 mol/l. It was higher in river/estuarine zone as compared to neritic zone. The details are given below. Station Station Season (Month) May-98May-98Nov-98Nov-98May-99May-99 Maipura river Maipura estuary Maipura (seaside) Dhamra river Wheeler Island Ekakula (seaside) Main

38 ICMAM-PDPhosphate Phosphate content in Gahirmatha coast varied from 0.33 mol/l (at Maipura-seaside) to 2.11 mol/l (Dhamra river). The details are given below. Station Station Season (Month) May-98May-98Nov-98Nov-98May-99May-99 Maipura river Maipura estuary Maipura (seaside) Dhamra river Wheeler Island Ekakula (seaside) Main

39 ICMAM-PD Distribution of marine organisms in Gahirmatha coast during In the present study ( ), 207 species of marine organisms were recorded in the estuarine and neritic zones of Gahirmatha coast. DATA PhytoplanktonZooplanktonBenthos (No. of species) Click on individual group.

40 ICMAM-PD Group No. of species Phytoplankton Bacillariophyceae Dinophyceae Chlorophycea Cyanophyceae Euglenozoa Prymnesiophycea Xanthophyceae Zooplankton Hydrozoa Polychaeta Crustacea Polyhymenophora Sagittoidea Tentaculata Thaliacea Gastropoda Appendicularia Group No. of species Benthos Annelida Arthropoda Mollusca Pisces Turtle Marine Organisms recorded in Gahirmatha Coast ( ) Overall

41 ICMAM-PDPhytoplankton In the present study ( ), 116 species of phytoplankton were recorded (95 species of Bacillariophyceae, 10 species of Dinophyceae, 4 species each of Chlorophyceae, Cyanophyceae and one species each of Euglenophyceae, Prymneziophyceae and Xanthophyceae). The maximum diversity of phytoplankton was recorded during December The maximum density of phytoplankton recorded was /m 3 in Wheeler Island and 71,600/m 3 in Maipura River. The density of phytoplankton was found to be higher in the estuarine zone than in the neritic zone. Overall Euglenophyceae

42 ICMAM-PD In the present study ( ), 18 zooplankton groups were identified in Gahirmatha coast. Totally 32 species of zooplankton were recorded. They are 19 species of crustacea, 3 species of sagittoidea, two species each of polyhymenophora, polychaeta, hydrozoa and one species each of appendicularia, thaliacea and tentaculata. The zooplankton density was found to be higher in the estuarine zone compared to neritic zone. The maximum number of species was observed in the post monsoon. The density of zooplankton ranged from 49 to 2904 numbers/m 3. Zooplankton Overall

43 ICMAM-PD Benthos In the present study ( ) totally 29 species of benthic organisms were recorded (15 species of annelida, 5 species of arthropoda, 8 species of mollusca and one species of chordata). The maximum number of benthic organisms was recorded during post- monsoon period. Overall

44 ICMAM-PD In Orissa, the mangroves extend from Balasore coast to Puri coast covering an area of 211 sq. km., of which 161 sq. km. is in and around the Gahirmatha coastal region. Around Dhamra mouth, the mangroves exist in very dense patches. The Bhitarkanika sanctuary, a part of the Gahirmatha coast, is located between 20° 4–20° 8 N latitude and 86° 45 E – 87° 50 longitude covering an area of 672 sq. km. Mangroves Species composition Species composition Mangroves

45 ICMAM-PD Mangrove species composition 14 species of mangroves are found in the Gahirmatha coastal region. They are: Derris scandens Bruguiera gymnorrhiza Bruguiera sexangula Bruguiera parviflora Bruguiera cylindrica Ceriops decendra Ceriops tagal. Avicennia alba Avicennia officinalis Avicennia marina Lumnitzera racemosa Exoecaria agallocha Xylocarpus granatum X. mokongensi

46 ICMAM-PD Major Threats Indiscriminate fishing by trawlers in nearshore and offshore coastal waters, without TED. Indiscriminate fishing by trawlers in nearshore and offshore coastal waters, without TED. The females of the second arribada dig up pits in the same stretches of the beach especially in the core area which overlap with the first mass nesting severely damaging the earlier nests as well as the hatchlings. The females of the second arribada dig up pits in the same stretches of the beach especially in the core area which overlap with the first mass nesting severely damaging the earlier nests as well as the hatchlings. Beach erosion, damage by predators, human interference and change in the land use pattern of coastal areas. Beach erosion, damage by predators, human interference and change in the land use pattern of coastal areas.

47 ICMAM-PD Indiscriminate fishing by trawlers in nearshore and offshore coastal waters, without TED. Indiscriminate fishing by trawlers in nearshore and offshore coastal waters, without TED. The females of the second arribada dig up pits in the same stretches of the beach especially in the core area which overlap with the first mass nesting severely damaging the earlier nests as well as the hatchlings. The females of the second arribada dig up pits in the same stretches of the beach especially in the core area which overlap with the first mass nesting severely damaging the earlier nests as well as the hatchlings. Beach erosion, damage by predators, human interference and change in the land use pattern of coastal areas. Beach erosion, damage by predators, human interference and change in the land use pattern of coastal areas. Major Threats

48 ICMAM-PD Indiscriminate fishing by trawlers in nearshore and offshore coastal waters, without TED. Indiscriminate fishing by trawlers in nearshore and offshore coastal waters, without TED. The females of the second arribada dig up pits in the same stretches of the beach especially in the core area which overlap with the first mass nesting severely damaging the earlier nests as well as the hatchlings. The females of the second arribada dig up pits in the same stretches of the beach especially in the core area which overlap with the first mass nesting severely damaging the earlier nests as well as the hatchlings. Beach erosion, damage by predators, human interference and change in the land use pattern of coastal areas. Beach erosion, damage by predators, human interference and change in the land use pattern of coastal areas. Major Threats

49 ICMAM-PD Turtles as Incidental catches Decayed adult specimens and young ones were found along the Gahirmatha beach during the nesting season. This could be a part of incidental catch from fishing gears operated from mechanised and other fishing craft. (Source: Kar and Dash 1990, Silas et. al , Pandav et. al 1994, Pandav and Choudhury 1999 and Das 2001.) YearNo. of dead turtles recorded , , , , , , ,000

50 ICMAM-PD Suggestion for turtle conservation Strict enforcement of Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act 1982 and Rules 1983, which prohibit any kind of mechanised fishing within 5 km of the shore along Orissa coast for reducing the mortality of sea turtles. Strict enforcement of Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act 1982 and Rules 1983, which prohibit any kind of mechanised fishing within 5 km of the shore along Orissa coast for reducing the mortality of sea turtles. Use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TED) in the 3000 trawlers operating off Orissa coast to minimize turtle mortality. Use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TED) in the 3000 trawlers operating off Orissa coast to minimize turtle mortality. Protection of nesting grounds and aquatic habitats by minimising human intervention/interference in the nesting area. Protection of nesting grounds and aquatic habitats by minimising human intervention/interference in the nesting area. Creation of facilities for nesting, incubation, hatching and protection of the hatchlings along the beach. Creation of facilities for nesting, incubation, hatching and protection of the hatchlings along the beach. National and international coordination of conservation strategies. National and international coordination of conservation strategies. Creation of awareness among local people on conservation of turtles and its nesting grounds, through informal education, training, extension and media. Creation of awareness among local people on conservation of turtles and its nesting grounds, through informal education, training, extension and media. Carrying out studies on the causative factors responsible for change in beach profile, which lead to shifting of nesting grounds and for planning corrective measures. Carrying out studies on the causative factors responsible for change in beach profile, which lead to shifting of nesting grounds and for planning corrective measures.

51 Conclusion The Information System developed for Gahirmatha using remote sensing and GIS has demonstrated that these tools could be effectively used for monitoring and managing the breeding and nesting grounds of olive ridley turtles in Gahirmatha coast and their conservation. ICMAM-PD


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