More than 800 rare baby sea turtles have been rescued and returned to the sea in NinhThuận Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thành
NINH THUẬN — Núi Chúa National Park in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận has rescued and returned to sea more than 800 rare baby sea turtles and four adult sea turtles of different species.
The park’s management board said the sea turtles are on a list of endangered, rare and precious species prioritised for protection.
Forty-three mother turtles have built 13 nests and have laid nearly 1,380 eggs on the beach of the park since the beginning of the year.
The park has rescued four adult turtles, including green turtles, loggerhead and hawksbill, all endangered and in urgent need of protection.
Trần Văn Tiếp, deputy head of the board, said the park is one of the few places in the country's mainland where sea turtles come ashore and lay their eggs on a yearly basis.
The turtles’ breeding season usually lasts from March to November, peaking between May and July, he said.
The park staff has conducted frequent patrols and kept a close eye on the nesting grounds to protect mother turtles and their eggs from natural disasters and predators, and the baby turtles when the eggs hatched in the sand nest.
The park has a marine animal rescue centre to receive and save sea turtles that are accidentally caught by fisherman and then bred in captivity. The centre takes care of the animals before releasing them back to the wild.
In recent years, the number of sea turtles coming to the park areas to lay eggs has decreased significantly due to effects of climate change, including prolonged droughts, the loss of nesting beaches, pollution, and over-harvesting of sea turtles and eggs.
Tiếp said the park is implementing many solutions to protect the populations of sea turtles and their habitats as well as other endangered marine animals.
It has built a sea turtle conservation centre, established a sea turtle protection volunteer team, and cooperated with organisations and units in research to improve the staff and volunteers’ knowledge about conservation, rescue and treatment of sea turtles.
It also disseminates information to raise awareness among local fishermen about sea turtle protection.
The provincial People’s Committee has asked relevant departments and agencies in collaboration with the park to promote protection and conservation of sea turtles, and strictly handle violations relating to the illegal catching, transport, storing, trading and killing of sea turtles and their eggs. — VNS