Sea turtle - a special local product in Con Dao island

Monday - 14/12/2020 08:06
The characteristic of turtles is to breed at night, so to see sea turtles laying eggs, visitors must visit at night, from April to October every year, most concentrated from June to September.
Hon Bay Canh, which is an island in the protected area of the National Park Con Dao, has the largest number of pregnant sea turtles annually. Tourists must buy tickets to visit turtles spawning by canoe (inland watercraft) from the main island for about 45 minutes. This is an island with mangrove forests recognized by the World Convention Organization as the Ramsar site. There are forest rangers stationed on this island to protect forests, conserve sea turtles, and serve eco-tourists. Cat Lon beach on Bay Canh island is one of 14 spawning grounds of sea turtles Con Dao and the place where there is the number of turtles spawning the most. Bay Canh island is one of 16 ones where visitors can see jungle fowls, ebony squirrels, colorful butterflies ... Surrounded by mangroves with an area of about 5.1 ha, with 24 species of mangroves, mainly mangroves - Rhizophora apiculata, parrots - Bruguiera cylindrica, parrots - Bruguiera gymnothiza, lime trees, guava, Bang phi - Pemphis acidula ... The mating season of sea turtles is around April to October but the peak is from June to September each year. Visitors can come here or stay overnight to watch turtles laying eggs.
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 Bay Canh island, Con Dao
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Every night the mother turtles go to the beach to choose a fine sand area near the groves, use the two front fins to dig their nests about 60 - 80cm deep, depending on the size of the mother and start to lay eggs. Using a light flash light, visitors will see each round turtle egg like white table tennis fall into the hole. After laying, the mother turtle will fill the nest to remove traces and disguise her nest and ensure moisture. In order to ensure the proportion and preservation of a high number of hatched eggs that are not inundated by seawater, forest rangers take the eggs and bring them to an artificial incubation area for the conservation. When bringing back, half of the eggs will be put in a place with much light, while the other half will be put into the hatching pond covered against a sun. This is to balance the "sex" for the baby turtles hatching, because sea turtles can adjust the male - female thanks to the impact of light and temperature in incubating period. About 45 - 60 days after being brought back to the nest, the eggs will hatch into a baby turtle.
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 Baby turtles after hatching are put into crates
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 Baby turtles are released back to the sea - at Bay Canh beach Con Dao
 While you visit the incubation area, you may see the baby turtles that were incubated before they are hatched. Tourists will be able to see each one trying to get out of an eggshell and squeeze each other up to the mouth of the nest to crawl towards the sea. The forest rangers will put the baby turtles in the basket and take them down to the sand when the water is high and the sun is not really strong, you will see hundreds, thousands of baby turtles crawling into the sea just a few miles away. Before the baby turtles are immersed in the sea, they still have time to turn to record the image of where they were born, so that when they mature (about 30 years later), the sea turtles will return to their birthplace to spawn.
With a survival rate of 1/1000, sea turtles are included in the Red Book of Vietnam as well as around the world for conservation. Con Dao is one of the places that domestic and international tourists come to visit and participate in the sea turtle conservation program.

Source: Hai Nhan. Translated by My Phuong:

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