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iWild: For more see iWild.org

The Turtle with a Heart-Shaped Shell

While not as endangered as some of its fellow sea-turtles, the Olive Ridley, Today’s Endangered All-Star, is nonetheless in decline, listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN’s Red List. For eons, females have gathered in huge breeding groups off favored beaches in Mexico, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, the Bay of Bengal, and along the eastern coast of India: These groups, called arribadas, were once joined by as many as a million females, who massed offshore until heading to the shore together to lay their eggs in an extraordinary nocturnal spectacle. Now, the numbers in an Olive Ridley arribada may reach only a few thousand. Yet these events remain one of the most stirring sights in nature, and villagers in India carefully guard the nesting sites to prevent disturbance of turtles or eggs. To get a sense of the excitement, watch this video, just posted by the BBC: The annual nesting on the Indian coast has begun!
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