Six Senses Con Dao

Let's Get Cracking Green Sea Turtle Conservation Center FAQs

Learn more about the “Let’s Get Cracking” center and it’s role in endangered green sea turtle conservation at Six Senses Con Dao. Find out how you can become a part of the successful conservation and join in the miracle of helping these majestic but endangered creatures rebuild their populations.

“Let’s Get Cracking” is a green sea turtle incubation and release center at Six Senses Con Dao Resort in the Con Dao archipelago located in Southern Vietnam, just a 45 minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN airport code). The center was established in 2018 in partnership with the Con Dao National Park Authority to assist with protecting eggs laid across the Con Dao archipelago and at Six Senses Con Dao’s own beach. Eggs are incubated in perfectly controlled conditions to maximize their chances of successfully release being safely protected from threats like flooding, natural predators and poachers that they could be subjected to in the wild.  

Guests at Six Senses Con Dao are encouraged to participate in our ethical baby turtle releases directly on the resort’s beach. In fact, since 2018, our guests, under the careful guidance of our knowledgeable hosts, have assisted with the hatch and release of 19,430 baby turtles. This is a magical experience to reconnect with nature, and guests taking part often describe the encounter as a life-long memory. 

The truth is, they chose us! Being the only truly private beach resort in Vietnam and being surrounded by such a successful National Park we are truly blessed to call such an incredible location home. As green sea turtle populations have flourished Six Senses Con Dao’s pristine beach is often selected by careful mothers to lay their eggs. Inspired by these majestic yet sadly endangered creatures we have elevated our conservation efforts partnering with the National Park Authority. Under this partnership we support them in protecting eggs laid across the archipelago’s 16 islands during incubation and follow best practices upon release to give them the best chance when heading out into waiting blue waters surrounding the Resort. 

The nesting season in Con Dao runs from mid-March until late-October. With an average 60-day incubation period hatching occurs from May-December and sometimes even into January. The “Let’s Get Cracking” Tracker page can show you how many eggs are currently in incubation and the status of those clutches that have already hatched.  

When staying at Six Senses Con Dao, guests will be notified by their Guest Experience Makers (GEMs) if one of the turtle clutches makes their way to the surface in the evening ready to make their dash towards the waiting waves the following morning. Obviously seeing these incredible little turtles take their first steps, find their bearings and head for the waiting waves for the first time is an experience that will forever be remembered fondly. 

When a female turtle comes to nest on the private beach of Six Senses Con Dao, our hosts will guide you to the nest site where you can watch from a safe distance as she meticulously lays and covers her eggs. They will then be relocated to “Let’s Get Cracking’s safety for incubation ahead of their release in around 60 days. 

The Let’s Get Cracking Center has seen hatching rates up to and above 90% consistently 2021 and 2022 and into 2023. For context, this is at least double what is typically observed in the wild. How can we achieve such amazing results? Firstly, we remove all the key dangers to incubating turtle eggs like flooding, natural predators, human poaching. Beyond this, with our hosts carefully studying and monitoring incubation conditions throughout the day, every day of the turtle nesting season we ensure the perfect environment, sand quality, temperature limitation to maximize the chances that every single egg emerges from the sand, ready to make their dash towards the waiting waves.   

In 2022 we released 6,929 baby green sea turtles with a 90% successful hatching rate. This was our most successful year to date and we’re hoping to continue to increase our conservation efforts in the coming years. This brings the total number of successfully hatched and released turtles to 19,430 between 2018 and 2022. 

In the early 1990s the Con Dao National Park Authority began to study sea turtle populations and protect their eggs. In the middle of that decade, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) recognized and supported the local conservation efforts and even supported staff to visit the Philippines for training. From this point on the efforts turned more scientific with incredible results. Eggs were protected in specifically built hatcheries (similar to Let’s Get Cracking today) and mother green sea turtles were tagged to monitor and learn from their natural behaviors.  

Over time Con Dao archipelago has developed to the leading green sea turtle hatching location not just in Vietnam but across Southeast Asia. The Park is also the first in Vietnam to join the Indian Ocean’s South-East Asian (IOSEA) Marine Turtle memorandum of understanding (MoU). 

Con Dao National Park Authorities efforts and results have become a source of inspiration to other green sea turtle conservation efforts not just throughout Vietnam but around the world. 

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Established by the Vietnamese Prime Minister in March 1993, the Con Dao National Park covers a total area of 19,998 ha (including 16 islands and islets) made up of 5,998 ha of forest and 14,000 ha of biodiversity marine protected area. It also covers 20,500 ha of marine buffer area. Con Dao is home to 1,000s of important flora and fauna including many endemic species.  

The key objectives of the National Park are: 

– Protection, rehabilitation of the forest and marine ecology; conservation of precious and rare forestry and marine endemic organisms. 
–  Conservation of natural forestry and marine landscape, contribution to improving the historical and cultural relics of the Con Dao District. 
–  Implementation of scientific research duties, dissemination, public education and sightseeing tour. 

The national Park operates under the following regulations: 

–  They should not change the natural landscape or pollute the environment; 
–  They should not impact o­n the natural living of the wildlife; 
–  They should not illegally feed, keep and plant species introduced from other places, nor should they keep their livestock grazing in this area; 
–  They should not exploit the wildlife resources; collect specimens nor should they exploit other resources; 
–  They should not take with them hazardous chemicals, explosives, and inflammables into the Park. They should not make fire in the forest and near the edge of the forest; 

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