Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle spotted in Opol, Misamis Oriental

An uncommon marine life visited the shoreline of Opol (within Roan Beach Resort and Apple Tree Resort and Hotel) approximately 3:00 in the afternoon today. The sighting was then reported to the nearest DENR office and made an action by the MENRO (Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer) of the Municipality.

Upon reaching the information delivered to me by Allan Quisa-ot, one of my colleagues, i immediately made a quick check of the uncommon sighting revealed then after as a Turtle. The carapace of this turtle has an olive-colored, rounded and relatively heart-shaped, while the under surface has this greenish white. This exceptional sea creature was identified by Fra-and Quimpo, a Marine Biologist currently working with Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, and PADI Dive Instructor as the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle outlined through the photos and description being provided.

Read more about the SHORE-BREAKS Skim-boarding Competition Successfully Kicked Off.


The Olive Ridley Sea Turtle which was sighted earlier has an approximate length of about 17-19 inches or 43-48 centimeters accompanied by a (blue) tagging device about 2 inches in size with an inscription: June 27 Misamis Occidental; the blue tag might be a device to track its movement. 

It was released back to the sea by the MENRO representative after checking its status. 

Considered to be the second smallest Sea Turtle after the Kemp's Ridley, the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle got its name from the color of their carapace, or shell- a pail or olive green color. The heart-shaped carapace is characterized by four pairs of pore-bearing inframarginal scutes on the bridge, two pairs of prefrontals, and up to 9 lateral scutes per side. Accordingly, Olive ridleys are unique in that they can have variable and asymmetrical lateral scute 6 to 8 counts ranging from five to 9 plates on each side, with six to eight being most commonly observed. Each side of the carapace has 12-14 marginal scutes.

Albeit one of the most abundant sea turtles in the world, the Olive Ridley is considered to be endangered because of their few remaining nesting sites in the world due to mass exploitation.



FAST FACT:
Binomial Name: Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz 1829)

The genus name is derived from the Greek words lepidos, meaning scale, and chelys, which translates to turtle.

Conservation Status: Classified as Vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and is listed in Appendix I of CITES. According to the book "Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles" by Pamela T. Plotkin, ed. (2007) with ISBN 0801886112, "National listings for this species range from Endangered to Threatened, yet enforcing these sanctions on a global scale has been unsuccessful for the most part".

Sea turtles are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds. Olive Ridley turtles also provide a type of refuge for many seabirds in the Eastern Pacific, allowing them to perch on their shells as the turtles surface to bask in the sun.

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