Con Dao National Park: Officially Becoming a Member of IOSEA Marine Turtle Conservation Network (29-11-2019)

After the working time at the 8th Conference of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the management and conservation of marine turtles and their habitat in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian waters (called IOSEA MOS8) was held in Da Nang City, the member states approved and agreed with Vietnam's proposal to make Con Dao national park a member of the IOSEA Marine Turtle Conservation Network (IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network).
Con Dao National Park: Officially Becoming a Member of IOSEA Marine Turtle Conservation Network

This is recognition for great efforts of Vietnam in implementing biodiversity conservation in general, and marine turtle conservation in particular. Besides, through this event, affirming the strong commitment of the Vietnam government in the roadmap to protect endangered, precious and rare aquatic species, combating IUU fishing and towards sustainable and responsible fishing.

In Con Dao, the conservation of marine turtles  has been carried out systematically and continuously since 1994, activities of marine turtle conservation research such as: Wearing a tag for the mother turtle to record the number of times spawning in the breeding season, spawning cycle of mother turtles, migration places of mother turtles; sea ​​turtle eggs rescue; wear a satellite tracker; study the effect of temperature in the nest on the sex of baby turtles; study the impact of shoreline changes on the reproduction of marine turtles  and study the ADN structure of the sea turtle population in Con Dao.

The most common place for releasing baby turtles to the sea in Vietnam

Con Dao national park was established under Decision 135/TTg of March 31, 1993 of the Prime Minister, including 14 islands and surrounding waters, belonging to the Southeastern Sea of​the country. The area of ​​Con Dao national park is 19,991 ha, in which the area on the islands is 5,991 ha and the sea area surrounding the islands is 14,000 ha; In addition, there is a buffer zone of 20,500 ha.

Con Dao national park is preserving and conserving the typical ecosystems of tropical islands including: Forest ecosystems in low hills, forest ecosystems on coastal sand dunes, forest ecosystems alum flooded, mangrove ecosystems, sea grass ecosystems and coral reef ecosystems. The number of vascular forest plant species has been listed and identified as 1,077 species; the number of terrestrial vertebrates is 160 species and more than 1,700 species of marine life, endemic, rare and rare elements of wildlife fauna and flora in Con Dao. Biodiversity potential Con Dao national park has national and global significance, with the function of biodiversity conservation, protection of natural landscapes and protection of the environment as potentials and strengths for Con Dao develops sustainably according to the Government's viewpoint and development orientation.

 Marine turtles are rare and endangered animals on a global scale and are receiving the attention of many countries around the world, including Southeast Asia. Marine turtles are listed in red list in Vietnam and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered species. Recognizing the enormous cultural, socio-economic and biodiversity benefits of protecting marine turtles and their habitats in Vietnam and in accordance with the international commitments to which Vietnam has participated.  The Green Turtle population - Chelonia mydas on the beaches in Con Dao make the biggest annual nest in Vietnam, according to the research data of the management board of Con Dao national park, there are about 500 individual mother turtles. It is an annual nesting area and is also an important feeding area for another smaller population of green turtles. Con Dao national park set a national record of national park releasing young turtles to the sea in Vietnam" awarded on 31 January 2009.

Con Dao is the first place (since 1994) to successfully and systematically implement the sea turtle conservation program, a place to study biological properties and models - effective sea turtle conservation methods not only for Con Dao island but also a place to share models - methods of sea turtle conservation on beaches nationwide. Con Dao national park has tagged over 4,853 mother turtles and 10 tracking devices using satellite signals (2008-2018). Con Dao is truly the safest nesting habitat in Vietnam today and a suitable place for marine turtle research and conservation cooperation. In the statistic of 25 years from 1994 to 2018, there were 9,012 female turtles returning to nest to lay eggs; laying 25,345 nests with 2,288,127 eggs; hatched and released to the sea 1,761,832 young turtles.

In the coming time, Con Dao national park continues to carry out the project of relocating and rescuing eggs and baby turtles to restore the population of marine turtles in Con Dao due to the impact of temperature rise, spring tide, sea level rise due to climate change for the period of 2017-2020. Some main contents including relocation of eggs into incubator lakes; Managing, supervising and monitoring mother turtles to lay eggs, hatched eggs and young turtles released to the sea every year; Cleaning and leveling beaches to create conditions for mother turtles to lay eggs; Propagating education, raising awareness of the community in the conservation of marine turtles  and marine biodiversity.

At the same time, promoting international and domestic cooperation, exchanging information on sea turtle conservation, calling on international organizations to continue cooperation, funding, technical assistance, experience and finance for the management and conservation of marine turtles in Con Dao national park.

Le Mai

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