Chàm Island saves threatened turtle

vietnamnews

Update: August, 31/2017 – 18:32

Turtle haven: Green turtle eggs are laid at nests on the beach of Chàm Island in Quảng Nam Province. It’s the first stage of the endangered turtle species conservation programme in the island. — VNS Photo Lê Xuân Ái

Viet Nam News QUẢNG NAM  — The Chàm island’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) management board started conservation of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) by hatching 450 eggs taken from Côn Đảo Island on August 30.

Lê Xuân Ái, a researcher, told the Việt Nam News yesterday that the first generation of the endangered turtle would be released to the sea in the next two weeks.

Ái, who chaired the project, said the first batch of turtle eggs had been hatched in five nests over 40 days.

“It’s the first batch of turtle eggs this year. The second batch of more 450 eggs will be delivered to the site in September. We believe in the safe and warm condition on the beach of Chàm Island at the moment. Our scientific study programme will be undertaken in the area for three years to ensure prolonged restoration of the endangered species,” Ái said.

He said islanders would urge neighbouring coastal provinces to also implement conservation plans.

The programme has received much support from Côn Đảo Island National Park in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, which has successsfully preserved the turtle for decades.

Chàm Island is the first site in Việt Nam starting in-situ conservation of the green turtle.

Ái said baby turtles (hatchlings) often return to the beach where they were born to lay eggs when they reach maturity.

Several beaches in central coastal Việt Nam, including Thừa Thiên-Huế, Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi are favoured destinations for turtle reproduction, but rapid urban development, speedy construction of beach resorts and hotels as well as exploitation of seafood and pollution had destroyed their habitat.

A final report on the first turtle egg hatching will be announced in October.

The Chàm Islands, 20km off the coast of Hội An City, is home to 1,500ha of tropical forests and 6,700ha of sea featuring a wide range of marine fauna and flora.

The 3,000 inhabitants of the islands, which include eight islets with vast ecological diversity, host around 100,000 tourists annually, of which 10 per cent are foreigners. — VNS

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