The Hindu , 09 January 2006

8-km walk for sea turtle

CHENNAI: Members of the Kadal Aamai Padhukavalargal on Sunday took up the cause of the sea turtle by organising an awareness walk from Periya Neelangarai Kuppam.

The walk was flagged off by C.K. Sreedharan, Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu, and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. K.P.M. Perrumahl, Chief Conservator of Forests and Director, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, and Ashish Kumar Srivastava, Wildlife Warden, Chennai, participated.

The campaign concluded at Uthandi. The rally passed through three fishing villages covering a distance of eight km. Members of the TREE Foundation, organisers of the programme, distributed pamphlets in Tamil to the fisherfolk. Pamphlets in English were distributed to people near the beachfront.

The activists requested the residents to provide shades on the lights facing the beach, as they distracted the Olive Ridley turtles that came ashore to lay eggs. Even the hatchlings got distracted. Instead of going in the direction of the sea, the hatchlings and adults strayed towards human habitations. While newborns were prone to attack by crows and dogs, adult turtles faced the threat of being run over by vehicles. Supraja Dharini, founder, said in the last three years the organisation roped in the help of youth from fishing villages in Neelankarai. They were involved in protection of sea turtles.