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Visakhapatnam in India is an important nesting ground for the endangered Olive Ridley turtle. The Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA), TREE Foundation, the AP Forest Department and the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust in Australia are working together to protect sea turtles along the coast of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam.
In April, the first batch of new turtle hatchlings were released into the Bay of Bengal. Since then, more than 188 nestings have been sighted.
Protection officers partrol the beaches with the sea turtles and their nests while VSPCA continues to work with local fishing villages on ways to protect the endangered turtles on land and in the ocean. These protections for the coastal hatcheries are necessary because of the ongoing disruption to the turtles' nesting grounds due to tourist developments, beach activities, artificial light, pollution, and predators.
By involving the local communities, and providing employment through positions like protection officers, the rescue groups forsee a better future for preservation of this species. GreaterGood.org supports these efforts through the Gifts That Give More program offered at The Rainforest Site and other GreaterGood Network websites.
Photo of baby turtles about to be released courtesy of VSPCA