Turtle Island (Pulau Selingan)
Turtle Island Park (Pulau Selingan)
Turtle Island HQ
Turtle Islands Park comprises three small islands; Pulau Selingaan, Bakkungan Kechil and Gulisaan. Sabah Parks has created a marine park around the islands. In all, the park covers an area of just 1750 ha. and the protection the park provides for the turtles, makes it important for the survival of these endangered species.
Turtle Hatchery at Selingan
The accommodation is restricted to 38 visitors daily. Bookings are not only recommended – they are imperative. The Chalets offer good value with basics like beds, fan and a refrigerator. Communal showers and toilets are provided in each chalet which have four bedrooms each. Some of the chalets offer private facilities – obviously at a surcharge. Camping is not permitted on the island.
Meals are provided in an airy cafeteria which overlooks the turtle hatchery. All meals are provided in the tour package provided.
Beach at Turtle Island
After dinner, it becomes a waiting game, The tourists wait patiently for the rangers to announce the arrival of the first turtle. Finally the shout goes out, and everyone will scurry off in groups following the dim, solitary torchlight of one of the rangers.
The Park rangers measure each turtle to monitor the success of the programme, and then remove the eggs from where they have beenlaid to the safety of a turtle hatchery, for the 50 to 60 day incubation period.
Approaching Turtle Island
One of the highlights of an evening is when the hatchlings are returned to the sea under the benevolent eye of the rangers. Visitors are also able to assist the rangers to release the new born hatchlings to the beach, where they race 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. Even with all the “outside” assistance provided, only 3% to 5% of the hatchlings are likely to reach maturity.