Con Dao during sea turtle breeding season

Con Dao National Park has rescued an average of more than 1,000 sea turtle nests each year in recent times, arranged artificial incubation, and released over 150,000 hatchlings back into the sea. In today’s programme, we invite you to join us in exploring the silent yet noble work of those who fulfil the role of “midwife” for the sea turtles at the national park.

April to November is the sea turtle nesting season, when hundreds of sea turtles come ashore at beaches within Con Dao National Park to lay eggs. Among the beaches, Bay Canh Island accounts for about 80% of sea turtle nesting in Con Dao.

Due to the nesting behaviour of the sea turtles, which typically takes place in the dark, forest rangers must remain awake throughout the night during the nesting season, to protect the turtle eggs from tidal surges or predators.

Sea turtles are very sensitive to sound and white light, so all activities of the forest rangers are carried out in darkness with the support of specialised lighting.

After the mother turtle returns to the sea, forest rangers bring the eggs to the incubation site. Half of the eggs are placed in trays with plenty of light, while the remainder are covered with shaded nets, to regulate the hatching of the eggs.

In recent years, the Con Dao National Park has conducted discovery tours and experiences for visitors to watch the turtles laying their eggs and the rangers releasing the turtle hatchlings back into the sea.

The forest rangers also act as tour guides, sharing knowledge on protecting and rescuing the sea turtles. This is hoped to raise public awareness about the conservation of endangered and rare sea turtle species.

For the rangers of Con Dao, the greatest reward is not public recognition but increasing the hatchling rate and knowing that the baby turtles will grow up and eventually return to where they were born, continuing the cycle of life and preserving the species./.

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