Nesting turtle numbers fall in South Asia: experts

Conservationists have expressed alarm over the low number of turtles arriving on the coast of east India and Bangladesh for the nesting season, blaming overfishing and climate change for the decline.

Between November and March, several species of sea turtle, including the Olive Ridley, travel thousands of miles to nest on the sandy shores of Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest.

"Just a few have so far been spotted. The long, wide beaches of the Bay of Bengal in the Sundarbans look empty," Pradip Vyas, director of the Indian government's Sundarbans Biosphere project, told AFP on Thursday.

"We are monitoring the six islands where sea turtles lay their eggs but we fear they are not coming in such numbers due to degradation of the sea, pollution and climate change."

Straddling Bangladesh and India, the 10,000 square kilometre (3,900 square mile) Sundarbans is famous for being the largest wildlife home for endangered Bengal tigers, but it is also a habitat for many rare marine species.

In Bangladesh, which is home to 60 percent of the forest, wildlife experts said the number of turtles arriving on the pristine coastline dropped by at least 50 percent in the past 10 years.

"It's a very grim picture," said S.M. Rashid, head of the Dhaka-based Centre for Advanced Research in Natural Resources and Management.

"In the 1990s we could spot 50-60 turtles nesting in our beaches in a night.

"But now the number has come down to a maximum 10," said Rashid, whose team in June successfully bred a critically endangered turtle using an artificial beach habitat.

Environmentalists blame a spike in fishing and climate change causing sea levels to rise and more cyclones for the alarming drop in turtle population, and they say that humans stealing eggs is another major problem.

"Overfishing has emerged as a threat to sea turtles coming to beaches of the Sundarbans," said Subrata Mukherjee, India's senior Sundarbans official, adding up to 1,500 boats now catch fish along the coast.

"A large number of sea turtles die after they are caught in fishing nets."

In the last five years, the Sundarbans were hit by two devastating cyclones, killing more than 5,000 people living in the villages along the forest.

"The nesting grounds of the marine turtle are being destroyed due to erosion and deposition of fresh sands. This is happening largely because of climate change," said Anurag Danda, an Indian WWF wildlife expert.

"Sea turtles are also avoiding the Sundarbans because of fierce winds during cyclones."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Why online business attracts SMEs?
    Why online business attracts SMEs?

    E-commerce is slowly changing the landscape of the country’s small and medium enterprises, especially in the delivery private and public transport sector. One particular area is how these firms can quickly gather or replace their fleet of vehicles with the help of online shopping made easier by online vehicle ads platform such as Carmudi Philippines—one […] The post Why online business attracts SMEs? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Thai index slips ahead of economic data

    BANGKOK, May 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were flat to weaker on Friday, with the Malaysia index hitting a more than two-month low and Philippines touching an over one-week low on ... …

  • China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"
    China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"

    By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Friday it was "strongly dissatisfied" after a U.S. military plane flew over part of the South China Sea near where China is building artificial islands, and called on the United States to stop such action or risk causing an accident. The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the U.S. P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military's most advanced surveillance aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday, according to CNN, which had a team on board …

  • 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena
    2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena

    The smell of burnt rubber and screeching tires are some of the highlights that will be seen at the most adrenaline-pumped drifting event of the year—the 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship series.   Held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, the event will be the biggest venue in the drifting competition. This is the […] The post 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • The Richest Senators In The Philippines
    The Richest Senators In The Philippines

    The 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth for politicians and public servants are now available for anyone to … The post The Richest Senators In The Philippines appeared first on iMoney.ph. …

  • PHILIPPINES PRESS-AirAsia Philippines seeks $500 mln valuation for IPO - Inquirer

    The Philippine unit of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Berhad is seeking a valuation of at least $500 million for its initial public offering set within the next two years, the Philippine Daily Inquirer ... …

  • Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot
    Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot

    A 39-year-old information technology consultant, whose job contract will expire this month, has claimed his share of the 6/45 Mega Lotto’s P17.8-million jackpot in its May 13 draw, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced yesterday. “I could not sleep for the past several days, thinking about where I could get the money to pay my children’s tuition,” the winner told PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II when he received a check for P5.9 million at the PCSO’s central …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options