NINH THUẬN — More than 1,530 rare baby sea turtles belonging to several species have been released into the sea in Núi Chúa National Park in the central coastal province of Ninh Thuận this year.
According to the park management, the number is 36 per cent higher than last year.
The park recorded 41 turtles coming to shore and laying 1,972 eggs.
It also rescued and returned four endangered green sea, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles, all endangered and in need of protection.
Trần Văn Tiếp, deputy director of the management, said the park is one of the few places in Việt Nam where sea turtles come ashore and lay their eggs regularly.
The turtles’ nesting season usually lasts from March to October, peaking between June and July, he said.
“Thanks to favourable weather conditions this year, the numbers of nesting turtles, eggs and baby turtles released have increased.”
To protect turtles and their eggs from natural disasters and predators, park staff and volunteers conduct frequent patrols and keep a close eye on the nesting grounds.
Statistics show that the sea turtle population in Việt Nam and other countries in the region are rapidly declining due to increasing poaching and trafficking.
Degradation of coral reefs and seaweed, marine pollution, dwindling food sources, and climate change have also affected their habitats and health.
The Núi Chúa National Park covers an area of about 30,000ha of forest, marine area and buffer zone.
It is home to hundreds of animal and plant species, many of which are listed in Việt Nam’s Red Data Book and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The park has carried out a number of measures to conserve endangered sea turtle in co-ordination with many local and foreign organisations like the World Wide Fund for Nature, Global Environment Fund and the IUCN. — VNS