Turtle Egg-Laying Season On Con Dao island

Saturday - 27/04/2024 10:31
Con Dao is the first place in Vietnam to successfully implement a sea turtle conservation program. Currently, it is the egg-laying season for the turtles, as they come ashore to build nests and lay their eggs.
In recent years, Con Dao National Park in Ba Ria - Vung Tau province has been rescuing over 1,000 sea turtle nests annually, conducting artificial incubation, and releasing over 150,000 hatchlings back into the sea. This is an important and meaningful effort in the conservation of endangered and rare animal species listed in the world's red books.
The silent contributions of the Forest Ranger Department under the Management Board of Con Dao National Park are crucial for this success. They are like midwives, reviving and nurturing these precious sea turtles.
From April to November each year is the sea turtle breeding season. During this time, hundreds of sea turtles come ashore at the Con Dao National Park's beaches to lay their eggs. Among them, Bay Canh island accounts for about 80% of the total number of sea turtles nesting on Côn Đảo Island. Due to the nocturnal nesting behavior of sea turtles, the forest rangers have to stay up all night to monitor and assist the nesting mothers, and then relocate all the eggs to artificial incubation pits to ensure their safety from tidal surges or other animals.
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Sea turtles are highly sensitive to sound and bright light, so all activities carried out by the forest rangers must be done in darkness with the support of specialized lamps. Each nesting female turtle lays an average of 80 to 120 eggs. After laying the eggs, the mother turtle uses her flippers to cover the nest and camouflage it, then returns to the sea. When the mother turtle heads back to the ocean, the rangers use their hands to dig into the sand and gently collect each egg into baskets for relocation to the incubation pits. Once the turtle eggs reach the pits, half of them are placed in well-lit chambers, while the other half are covered with mesh screens to reduce exposure to sunlight. This regulation is crucial for controlling the sex ratio of the hatched turtles. Specifically, in areas with more light and higher temperatures, male turtles will hatch, while in areas with less light and lower temperatures, female turtles will hatch.
Mr. Trần Mạnh Hùng, from the Management Board of Con Dao National Park, said: "We have been closely involved in this conservation work for a long time. The more we do it, the more we feel passionate and responsible. We are very happy to preserve and protect these endangered and rare animal species, so that future generations can still admire and see these turtles living in the vast ocean, rather than just reading about them in books or seeing them on television."
For the rangers of Côn Đảo, after facing difficulties and challenges in sea turtle rescue efforts, their greatest reward is not a recognition but rather rescuing more turtles each year, achieving a higher hatching success rate, and witnessing the growth of these hatchlings as they return to the vast ocean, continuing the life cycle and sustaining their species.
Con Dao is not only the first place in Vietnam to successfully implement a sea turtle conservation program but also a wonderful destination where visitors can witness the fascinating process of turtles building nests and laying eggs when they visit Con Dao National Park.

Author: Xuan Da

Source: vtv.vn/ Translated by Xuan Da


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