Odisha coast has the world's largest known rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtle. Apart from Gahirmatha rookery, two other mass nesting beaches have been located which are on the mouth of rivers Rushikulya and Devi. The spectacular site of mass congregation of Olive Ridley sea turtles for mating and nesting enthralls both the scientists and the nature lovers throughout the world. An event that took place in April 2017 validates this phenomenon. In this month, it was reported by forest officials that at least 2 lakh baby Olive Ridley turtles have come out of their pits within a span of 24 hours.
This news was received well by conservation societies and wildlife lovers. Events like these are expected to last at least a week at the Gahirmatha beach. That rarity of mass congregation and the cruelty meted out to these innocent marine creatures, paved the way for declaration of the stretch of water body from old light house near Batighar to Maipura river mouth as Gahirmatha (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary.Close to the Bhitar Kanika Sanctuary is another of Odisha's special sanctuaries - the Gahirmatha Turtle Sanctuary. This stretch of beach is the breeding ground for the giant Olive Ridley Turtles, who travel all the way from the Pacific Ocean to mate and lay their eggs here. Every year, thousands of these wonderous creatures can be seen here. In order to protect the turtles, special arrangements have been made by the Government of Odisha.