Talking Turtles: Blog

The Turtle man of Rushikulya: Dhambru Behera

The Turtle man of Rushikulya: Dhambru Behera

By Muralidharan M. | April 3, 2014 | Muralidharan M.

Every field ecologist has their own special “Man Friday”, the local informant and trusted field assistant at their respective field sites. Dhambru Behera was “The Man” at the Rushikulya mass nesting beach in Odisha. This humble, traditional fisherman by trade met a...
Hundreds of them..!

Hundreds of them..!

By Nupur Kale | August 9, 2013 | Odisha, Orissa

Now you don’t see them, now you do—hundreds of them!! Prior to my Odisha stint, I had encountered marine turtles nesting on the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka and a few in hatcheries. Nice big and heavy green turtles (Chelonia mydas) those were. So I had an idea...
An Ever-Present Frame of Reference

An Ever-Present Frame of Reference

By Maya Khosla | March 3, 2013 | Maya Khosla, Odisha

It is 3:00 p.m. on February 15. You are framing a snapshot of the arribada, the annual mass nesting of olive ridley sea turtles. The shot is perfect—except that a figure stands tall as an icon, right there in the middle of your frame. The figure is Rabi, Rabindranath...

A 1000 and Counting

By Maya Khosla | February 22, 2013 | Maya Khosla, Muralidharan M., Odisha, Uncategorized

Surender, a third assistant, keeps his eyes on a GPS unit. As soon as he hears a new sea turtle sighting announced, he calls out the position coordinates. Sitting on a work bench next to him, Muralidharan (“Murali”), one of Kartik Shanker’s researchers, notes down all...
The Lost Years..

The Lost Years..

By Andrea D. Phillott | July 9, 2012 | Andrea D. Phillott

As the summers went by and my knowledge of sea turtle biology grew, I became most fascinated with what we didn’t yet know about sea turtles. Observing hatchlings as they entered the ocean, I wondered where their swimming frenzy would take them. The time between their...
Born to Dive

Born to Dive

By Maya khosla | May 31, 2012 | Maya Khosla, Odisha

It is a few minutes past 7:00 a.m. on April 24, 2012. After an all-night patrol for sea turtles along Devi Beach, Sovakar Behera walks purposefully through a Casuarina grove, towards the not-too-distant boom of waves. Rita Banerji and I follow him out of the man-made...
La Escobilla

La Escobilla

By Kartik Shanker | May 22, 2012 | Kartik Shanker

One million nests a year at La Escobilla in Mexico. Compared to ridley nesting beaches on the west coast of India or the east coast of Africa that get 10 nests per year, that number sounds astronomical. Or for that matter, when compared to the much touted mass nesting...
What to do with dead turtles?

What to do with dead turtles?

By Mathew H. Godfrey | May 8, 2012 | Matthew H. Godfrey, North Carolina

As in most cases, it started with a phone call. Somebody saw a sea turtle, washed up on some rocks along a town creek near the ocean. This time, the location is close: just down the street from my home, so it takes only five minutes to get to the turtle spot....
The Green Lagoon

The Green Lagoon

By Kartik Shanker | March 30, 2012 | Kartik Shanker, Lakshadweep

The male green turtle with a small hole in his carapace swam ahead of us in the Kavaratti lagoon without the least concern about our presence. Bharti, my Ph.D. student, and I followed him for nearly half an hour. Male green turtles are known to make amorous advances...