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Turtles in Goa

Throughout centuries Ridley's sea olive turtles were almost only visitors of desert beaches of Goa where they came to oviposit. The development of the tourist industry and erosive processes gradually extrude the turtles from their traditional places of nesting. So far in Goa it remained only some turtle beaches like Galgibaga, Agonda and Morjim. There are other places of sporadic nesting on Arambol, Ashvem, Anjuna, Kohlongutt-Candolim, Velsao, Colva, Benaulim, Betul and Palolem beaches.

Special zones of a beach strip are set aside for turtles’ nesting and are under the strict law protection. The strong artificial light, noise and beach activities are forbidden in these zones. The touching care of volunteers and the staff of Indian Forest Service is touching. They protect nests and move eggs to the safe territory, rescuing them from high flow or vagrant dogs, help the hatching turtles to find the way to the sea.

The mating season of olive turtles lasts from October to March and concurs with hot time of tourist season. And this circumstance allows promoting the ecotourism in nesting places. According to governmental programs the inhabitants of some villages build ecohuts for tourists where they can watch turtles.

According to responses of tourists, it’s seldom someone has the luck to see turtles and their eggs. Only the most persistent fans of the nature can manage it. But according to last data from State Forest Service the project of turtle protection gives results and their population starts to increase. The extraordinary quantity of eggs was noticed in Morjim and Ashvem, some nests were revealed even in Baga and Vagator. It promises to Goan that tourism development in their country is possible without harm for the wild nature.

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