|Date||27 Mar 2008|
The Rushikulya rookery is situated along the south Orissa coast is among the three mass nesting (arribada) sites for olive ridley sea turtles in India. This rookery is does not come under any Protected Area status by the federal or state government. The fishers adjacent to the Rushikulya rookery are living complete harmony with sea turtle since time immemorial. Although local villagers use the Rushikulya beach for landing their traditional crafts and to construct temporary huts on the beach to sell their fish catch, sea turtles come and nest at this beach without any apparent problem. Realizing the importance of sea turtle conservation, Government has brought in some protection effort for this area. However, the whole process of protecting sea turtles may become counter productive if people are not taken into confidence and their traditional rights are saved. Therefore, it is essential to create awareness among the community on the importance of sea turtles and while keeping in mind protecting their livelihood.
This project aims at capacity building of local people as well as promoting olive ridley sea turtle conservation involving the local community. Posters, handouts, stickers and T-shirts bearing the message of sea turtle conservation through community will be distributed as part of awareness campaign and sensitizing communities for sea turtle conservation. Based on outcome of the project, specific recommendations will be made on the prospects of community based sea turtle conservation programme at the Rushikulya rookery in south Orissa of India.
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