The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 05. Egg laying duration in the olive ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea and its relevance for the estimation of mass nesting population size


Open Access

pp. 23-28
Authors: Kumar, R. Suresh; John, Sajan; Sivakumar, K. & Choudhury, Binod C.

Abstract: The olive ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea is known for its unusual behaviour of locally nesting en masse in the eastern Pacific and the east coast of India, leading to difficulties in quantifying population size. In the present study we estimate nesting population sizes in the state of Orissa, taking average egg laying or oviposition duration (OD) into account. We observed 182 and 263 nesting turtles during mass nesting events of 2009 and 2010 to estimate ODs of 19.8±5.8 and 17.2±5.9 minutes, respectively. Clutch size averaged 123.1±10.5 for 2009 and 124.3±18.6 for 2010, which is 10 to 20% more than the global clutch size of 100–110 eggs, and appears to have resulted in a longer OD than previously assumed. Using the average OD from this study, 172,407±7509 and 134,478±6204 turtles were estimated to have nested during 2009 and 2010 respectively, contrasting the 200,000–250,000 turtles reported by the Forest Department. Our results suggest that a minimum of 150 egg laying turtles across each night of the mass nesting period is required to be observed for an accurate quantification of OD.


Download Access:

The latest 20 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy

NOTE: as of January 2017, all new editions of the HJ are ONLY available online via the BHS website. The BHS no longer has a commercial hosting agreement with Ingenta  -  although editions prior to end 2016 remain accessible on Ingenta .  Those editions are of course also accessible on the BHS website for subscribers with an active and valid membership.  Should you experience any difficulty accessing HJ editions via the website or have any queries in this regard, please contact