Record-breaking results for olive ridley turtles in Australia and Bangladesh

Record-breaking results for olive ridley turtles in Australia and Bangladesh

By Ashmeeta Subra  May 22nd, 2024

In Bangladesh, conservation efforts have led to a 53 per cent increase in olive ridley turtle eggs, coinciding with the species' first-ever nesting discovery on Australia's east coast.


In a phenomenal discovery, olive ridley turtles have been found nesting along the east coast of Australia for the first time. These turtles are an endangered species in Queensland and were previously only known to nest in the Gulf of Carpentaria. During a patrol along Campwin Beach in Queensland’s Mackay region, a volunteer conservationist spotted an unusual turtle entering the water and later noticed that there was no activity in the suspected loggerhead nest.   

Just 40 days later, hatchlings were spotted emerging from other nests along the beach and making their way to the ocean. However, there was no sign of movement in what was thought to be the loggerhead nest, until day 60 when 47 olive ridley hatchlings emerged simultaneously.    

"We have been organising systematic surveys of marine turtle nesting throughout eastern Australia for more than 50 years and up until now we didn't have a single record of it nesting in eastern Australia," renowned researcher Dr Col Limpus told ABC news.   

The Mackay volunteers were overjoyed by this discovery and praised for their training in recognising such a special event.  

Meanwhile in Bangladesh, Nature Conservation Management (NACOM) reported a significant rise in olive ridley turtle eggs, totalling 12,425 across five hatcheries in Cox’s Bazar district through April 17.  

The number of eggs has increased by 53 percent this year, breaking a four-year record. This success is particularly significant considering the olive ridley's status as an endangered species according to the IUCN Red List.   

These turtles, whose primary nesting grounds are the islands off Cox’s Bazar district in the Bay of Bengal, have newfound hope through collaborative conservation actions involving several organisations working together.  

According to Munjurul Hannan Khan, executive director of Nature Conservation Management (NACOM), another factor in their success is building awareness among local populations about the importance of ensuring a safe environment for the female to lay her eggs.   

“We first discovered the problems and found a way out to protect the species; awareness is the key thing among the local people. We are constantly trying to build awareness among the local people and the fishers,” Khan said.    

The Bangladesh government has also established several initiatives such as the establishment of conservation centres aimed at breeding and protecting turtles. However, challenges persist, primarily due to urban development and increased tourist footfall along the coastline. 

The achievements of olive ridley turtles in Australia and Bangladesh inspire hope for the species’ population growth and survival, emphasising the importance of protecting and conserving vulnerable marine species through public awareness, collaborative action and government intervention. 

Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Ashmeeta Subra

With background in international relations and marketing communications, Ashmeeta is excited to use her skills to encourage positive environmental actions through Planet Ark. She believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference and be good stewards of our planet. Outside of work, she loves spending time in nature and enjoying downtime at the beach.

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