Turtle Island

Selingan Travel Blog

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Selamat datang ke Selingan Island (welcome to...)

 

 

The state of Sabah is located in the Northern most portion of the island of Borneo. Its coastline is washed by the waters of the South China Sea on the West, and the Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea on the East.

The main attractions in Sabah could be said to centre around nature and the diversity of wildlife and vegetation. By no means should the influence of the Sabah culture, however, be discounted as a prime attraction. The population of the state comprises over 30 different races and 80 dialects. 

 

Turtle Island Park, Selingan Island.

 

Sabah Parks has created a marine park around three islands in the Sulu Sea about 40 km North of Sandakan, which is important areas for the breeding of the Green Turtle. Two of the islands belongs to Malaysia, the third island belongs to Philippines. 

 

Each night of the year, the turtles come up onto the beach to lay their eggs and then return to the sea. Left to nature, some of the eggs would be destroyed before they hatch, or the hatchlings would not make the journey to the water without being eaten by predators. Sabah Parks has stepped in to assist the Green Turtle population to establish itself again after reaching danger levels.

 

Visitors can be assured of seeing turtles arrive nightly to lay their eggs throughout the year, although, during the monsoon season from October to February, it is occasionally possible that the boat trip from Sandakan will not leave due to rough seas .

 

We visited the Selingan Island, Malaysia.

"Our" turtle 107 x 100 cm
  Only 50 visitors can visit this island each day.  We arrived Selingan after 60 minutes in speedboat, the island is situated latitude 6`10`N and longitude 118`04` E. 

 

The island welcomed us with long white beaches.  We used the day at the beach sunbathing and snorkelling.

 

Early afternoon we could see dark clouds and lightning from the main land, luckely for us the bad weather never reach the island.

 

After 18.00 we were not allowed to walk on the beach, that’s because the rangers were afraid we would disturb the turtles coming up on the beach.  After a nice dinner we were told to stay at the lounge. 

 

The rangers would call for us when we were allowed to come to the beach and see one turtle laying eggs.  The time for the turtles to come up on the beach for laying eggs could have a variation from 19.

Laying 94 eggs
00 to 05.00.  The ranger told us that the night could be long. 

 

I decided to stay at the lounge as long as it required, I would not go to our shelter.  To be honest, I were afraid to miss the turtle.  I have looked forward for this for 2 months, and if it was required I would be up the whole night waiting.

 

About 20.30 the ranger called us and we followed him to “our” turtle.  The turtle was a fantastic sight 105 cm long and 100 cm broad.  To experience a turtle of that size laying 94 eggs just 30 cm in front of us is not possible to describe. 

 

The silence at the beach, the dark evening, the temperature and this fantastic creature which has been on earth for millions of years. The Park rangers remove the eggs from where they are laid and took them to a hatchery.  About 70 days passes before they are hatched.

Running to the sea
 

 

The hatchlings are then returned to the sea under the benevolent eye of the rangers. We were allowed to help the rangers return the new born hatchlings to the beach, where they race to the sea. The hatchlings size is about 10 cm.  Even with all the "outside" assistance, only 3% of the hatchlings are likely to reach maturity. 

 

We were allowed to take photos of the egg laying turtle and the hatchlings, but we were not allowed to use flash.  The hatchlings could be disturbed of the light and never reach the sea.  Because of this my photos are not so good, in spite of this, I hope you will enjoy them.

 

This was a once of a lifetime experience for me, I know I`ll never  experience something that will reach up to this visit to Turtle Island.  I`m glad being able to share this experience with you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Selamat datang ke Selingan Island …
Selamat datang ke Selingan Island…
Our turtle 107 x 100 cm
"Our" turtle 107 x 100 cm
Laying 94 eggs
Laying 94 eggs
Running to the sea
Running to the sea
Happy girls
Happy girls
Bad weather in sight
Bad weather in sight
Our turtle
"Our" turtle
94 turtle eggs
94 turtle eggs
107 x 100 cm
107 x 100 cm
Eggs placed at the hatchery
Eggs placed at the hatchery
Hatchery
Hatchery
New born hatchlings
New born hatchlings
Selingan Sights & Attractions review
Sabah Parks has created a marine park around three islands in the Sulu Sea about 40 km North of Sandakan, which is important areas for the breeding of… read entire review
Selingan
photo by: sissanoel