Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lucky few

Lucky few
Originally uploaded by Pandiyan
Newly hatched Olive Ridley Turtles being released to the sea. They literally run a gauntlet before they reach adulthood. Not many survive.

Chennai is one of the few beaches Olive Ridley turtles like. They come every year. Though the mass nestings don't happen in Chennai (Orissa in India sees it every few years) the Turtle Walkers in Chennai see about 100 nests every year.

These people patrol the beaches in the night, pick up the eggs, keep them safely in a hatchery and release the young ones into the sea.

It is said that the females come to the same beach every time they lay eggs. The fast-growing city with posh seafront properties (many of them illegal as per Indian Law) and powerful fishing trawlers (which need to have a Turtle Excluder Device but don't) is seeing fewer numbers of nests every year.

Turtle Walkers gamely carry on. Interestingly many are young students. Perhaps turtles will survive.

Uploaded by Pandiyan on 14 May 08, 11.24PM IST.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Time stood still...

Time stood still...
Originally uploaded by Pandiyan
... for these crocodiles. This could have been a picture taken million years ago. But things are changing for them a lot more rapidly. They have a deadly adversary now. One who is smart, reckless and ruthless. These muggers came close to disappearance few decades ago.

Luckily for them all humans are not their adversaries. Thoughtful among them are finding ways and means of coexistence after fully realising the interconnectedness.

These muggers are testy during the nesting season. They don't readily back off for Arun or his bamboo pole. They seem to have some primal instinct which triggers maternal feelings to guard the nest. They stand down eventually as self-preservation and fear of humans take over.

I understand that only in very isolated breeding grounds where they don't encounter humans crocs defend the nests very aggressively. In all other places over time they succumb to fear and rightly so. People who hunt crocodile nests for eggs usually kill the defending crocodile. Crocs learn to live to fight another day.