Sea turtles are found in warm and temperate seas throughout the world. Five of the seven known species, namely the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) (see worldwide distribution), green (Chelonia mydas) (see worldwide distribution), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) (see worldwide distribution), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) (see worldwide distribution) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) (see worldwide distribution), occur in the Indian coastal waters of the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
All species except the loggerhead nest on the mainland coast and islands. The olive ridley nests on both coasts (primarily the east coast) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The green turtle nests in Gujarat, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the hawksbill in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the leatherback in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In addition, practically all coastal states have sporadic nesting beaches and offshore congregation zones for sea turtles. Olive ridleys and leatherbacks, and hawksbills and greens often share nesting beaches in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Loggerheads are rare in India and known from very few records, mainly in southern Tamil Nadu. All five species nest in Sri Lanka.
State-wise distribution of sea turtles along the Indian coast.
Click on a region/state link below for more information:
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Maharashtra and Goa
Tamil Nadu and Puducherry