India’s Mega Projects Endanger Earth’s Giant Turtles

by | Jun 8, 2023 | Daily News, Environmental News, Wildlife

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A significant international container port on the Great Nicobar Island that may have a severe impact on the leatherback turtle population has lately received the green light from the Indian government. The Great Nicobar Island is located in a remote archipelago in the southernmost point of India and has been a crucial nesting habitat for the biggest turtles on Earth; the leatherbacks. But now, this significant infrastructure project threatens their nesting site.

Great Nicobar Island is around 1,000 square kilometers in size and is located halfway between India and Thailand. It is home to the Shompen and Nicobarese indigenous peoples, as well as a diverse range of plant and animal species. The project’s negative effects will not just be restricted to turtles but will also have a negative impact on the pristine ecology and indigenous tribes’ livelihoods.

India's Mega Projects Endanger Earth's Giant Turtles

What Is A Giant Leatherback Turtle?

The biggest of the seven sea turtle species is a giant leatherback turtle scientifically known as Dermochelys coriacea. All oceans, with the exception of the Arctic and Antarctic, are home to the giant leatherback turtle. The biggest living turtle is the leatherback sea turtle, often known as the lute turtle, leathery turtle, or simply the luth. It is the biggest non-crocodilian reptile and may grow to 1.8 meters in length and 500 kilograms in weight.

Although this enormous turtle may be found all over the world, manmade activities have caused a significant drop in its population in recent years. The IUCN has listed leatherbacks as Vulnerable on a global scale. Whereas several subpopulations, such as those in the Pacific and Southwest Atlantic, are Critically Endangered.

How The Mega Port Project Jeopardize The Existence of Earth’s Giant Turtles

Great Nicobar Island is home to the world’s biggest turtles, leatherback turtles. The building of an international container port on the island may prevent turtles from accessing their breeding places, leading their numbers to fall. Aside from that, the giant turtle will suffer a variety of human-related hazards as a result of the port, such as pollution runoff, fishing bycatch, seabed mining, plastic pollution, and human consumption.

The loss of breeding grounds will be a major danger to turtle survival. However, hazards like boat crashes, egg collecting by people, and consumption of plastic garbage must be overlooked.

Also Read: Bihar’s Gandak River Flourishes With Over 200 Gharials

Measures To Protect Earth’s Giant Turtles From Port Development

  • The port organization must follow all environmental regulations if the government intends to safeguard the leatherback turtle from port projects.
  • The unique and delicate ecology should be checked from time to time as it has not suffered any irreparable harm.
  • Establishing a long-term sea turtle research facility with a base on Great Nicobar Island will be a wise decision.
  • Additionally, protecting areas with turtle nesting sites is necessary wherever feasible.

Also Read: Endemic Wildlife: Their Importance For Nature As A Whole

Author

  • Michael Thompson

    Michael Thompson is an esteemed expert in the renewable energy sector, with a profound experience spanning over 25 years. His expertise encompasses various sustainable energy solutions, including solar, wind, hydroelectric, and energy efficiency practices. Michael discusses the latest trends in renewable energy and provides practical advice on energy conservation.

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