Thanks to India going into lockdown after coronavirus, along the coast of the eastern state of Odisha, over 475,000 endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles came ashore to dig their nests and lay eggs.
The global pandemic had some positive effects on the environment. While the coronavirus sparked one of the biggest crises seen by the planet in modern times, the global pandemic had some positive effects on the environment.
In March 2020, along the coast of the eastern state Odisha in India, over 475,000 endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles came ashore to a roughly 3.75-mile (6-km.) Rushikulya beach to dig their nests and lay eggs.
However, restrictions in place due to the CoViD-19 threat allowed for hundreds of thousands of endangered turtles to be protected from any human presence—especially the presence of tourists—resulting in what may be their most successful mass nesting in years.
According to the forest service, well over 250,000 mother turtles took part in the daytime nesting activity.
Typically, the event would attract hordes of tourists eager to see the miraculous event, straining members of the Forest Department who struggled to keep the crowds at bay. Crows and jackals would also attack the turtles, while local poachers would come afterward to rob turtle eggs and sell them at local village markets.
However, the coronavirus lockdown prevented any such disturbance of 2020's mass nesting, reports the Hindu, allowing the 25 forest guards and researchers to focus on guarding the turtles.
With another successful mass nesting having taken place at Gahirmatha Beach, which also lies along the Bay of Bengal in Odisha, authorities estimated that roughly 60,000,000 eggs to be laid in 2020 total.
While thousands of the eggs were destroyed by the mass of mother turtles laying eggs atop nests, such is the norm in the mass nestings where each mother lays an average of 80 to 100 eggs each. The eggs should take 45 days to hatch, after which the little hatchlings emerge to make their way out to sea.