Lepidochelys olivacea

Around World Sea Turtle Day, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU) celebrated its 20th Anniversary.

25 Jun 2021

A short film titled "You, come home when I am big" depicting the hazardous first moments in the lives of turtle hatchlings has been produced to coincide with the CMS COP13. The film was made by Ajit Samal who is a celebrated fine art painter has been making wildilfe films and documentaries for over 20 years. Based at Gujarat, he has contributed many productions concerning the conservation of species including the White-backed Vulture, the Asiatic Lion, the Asiatic Wild Ass, the Sarus Crane, Olive Ridley Turtles and the Whale Shark, as well as the Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary and Ramsar site and hte vuklture poisoning crisis.

18 Feb 2020

Da Nang/Viet Nam, 24 October 2019 – The 8th Meeting of the Signatories (MOS8) to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU) concluded today after four days of intense deliberations.

24 Oct 2019

The 2nd meeting of the Northern Indian Ocean Marine Turtle Task Force (NIO-MTTF) established by the CMS IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU took place 29-30 January hosted by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka in Colombo. Opened by Secretary Douglas Nanayakkara of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, the meeting’s main aim was to reach agreement on concerted regional actions to conserve marine turtles.

30 Jan 2018

Representatives and observers from 25 countries have reached agreement on a suite of measures that will strengthen efforts to conserve marine turtles in and around the Indian Ocean.

12 Sep 2014

Bonn, 12 September 2014 - Representatives and observers from 25 countries have reached agreement on a suite of measures that will strengthen efforts to conserve marine turtles in and around the Indian Ocean.

12 Sep 2014

Next week, delegates and experts from more than 25 countries across the Indian Ocean – South-East Asia region will assemble in Bonn, Germany, to tackle a packed agenda focusing on marine turtle conservation. Perhaps best known as birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven and the former capital of West Germany, Bonn is also home to IOSEA's parent organization, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

03 Sep 2014
Description: 

The olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is considered the most abundant sea turtle in the world, with an estimated 800,000 nesting females annually. Adults are relatively small, weighing on average around 45 kg. As with other species, their size and morphology varies from region to region. The olive ridley is omnivorous, feeding on algae, lobsters, crabs, tunicates, mollusks, shrimp, and fish.

The olive ridley is globally distributed in the tropical regions of the South Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is mainly a pelagic species, but it has been known to inhabit coastal areas, including bays and estuaries; where they can dive to depths of about 150 m to forage on benthic invertebrates. Olive ridleys often migrate great distances between feeding and breeding grounds. They mostly breed annually, involving an annual migration from pelagic foraging, to coastal breeding and nesting grounds, back to pelagic foraging. Olive ridleys reach sexual maturity in around 15 years, a young age compared to some other sea turtle species. Many females nest every year, once or twice a season, laying clutches of approximately 100 eggs.

In certain places, the olive ridley has one of the most extraordinary nesting habits in the natural world. Large groups of turtles gather off shore of nesting beaches. Then, all at once, vast numbers of turtles come ashore and nest in what is known as an "arribada". During these arribadas, hundreds to thousands of females come ashore to lay their eggs. In the northern Indian Ocean, arribadas occur on three different beaches along the coast of Orissa, India. Gahirmatha used to be one of the largest arribada nesting sites in the world. However, arribada nesting events have been less frequent there in recent years and the average size of nesting females has been smaller, indicative of a declining population. Declines in solitary nesting of olive ridleys have been recorded in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Pakistan. In particular, the number of nests in Terengganu, Malaysia has declined from thousands of nests to just a few dozen per year. Solitary nesting also occurs extensively throughout this species' range.

Despite the enormous numbers of olive ridleys that nest in Orissa, India, this species is not generally common throughout much of the Indian Ocean. Its pelagic habits make it especially subject to interactions with modern fisheries, such as longlines. Coastal trawl and net fisheries are also important sources of incidental catch and mortality.

The preceding biological information on marine turtle species found around the Indian Ocean is derived partly from the NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources, website:(http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/), supplemented by other sources (such as a website of the Australian Government, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts -- for information on the Flatback turtle), and additional information supplied by Dr. Jack Frazier (IOSEA Advisory Committee Chair). 

 

Assessment information
CMS InstrumentsCMS, IOSEA Marine Turtles, Atlantic Turtles
IUCN StatusVulnerable
Date of entry in Appendix I1985
Date of entry in Appendix II1979
Geographic range
Countries Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Cuba, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen
Common names
EnglishRidley Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle
FrenchTortue Batarde
SpanishTortuga olivácea
GermanBastardschildkröte
Taxonomy
ClassReptilia
OrderTestudinata
FamilyCheloniidae
Scientific name Lepidochelys olivacea
Author(Eschscholtz, 1829)
Standard referenceEckert, K.L., Bjorndal, K.A., Abreu-Grobois, F.A. and Donnelly, M. (Eds) (1999). Research and management techniques for the conservation of sea turtles. IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group Publication No.4.

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Other details
Additional notesAll migratory Cheloniidae spp.

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