Sabah's Turtle Sanctuary
Selingan Island is famous for being one of three islands that form the Turtle Islands National Park. Located on the east of Sabah, it lies approximately 40km (~25miles) from Sandakan City. Selingan, Bakungan Kecil and Gulisan make up 1740 hectares of protected area that’s dedicated to marine turtle conservation.
However, visitors are only allowed to experience the turtle conservation works at Selingan Island. The sanctuary is under the management of Sabah Parks and visitors must obtain an approved permission before being allowed to visit!
Turtle nesting and conservation works recommends an overnight stay to experience it all! As turtle landings usually occur past dusk. Visitors also get the chance to see park rangers in action from collecting eggs, tagging them and releasing hatchling back into the waters.
What can you expect at Selingan Island
THINGS TO DO HERE
Enjoy the sun, sea and sand
During the daytime, visitors are allowed to swim and snorkel as there’s a rental equipment store you can borrow snorkeling gear from. Sunbathing and sleeping under the sun are great ways to unwind and relax before an exciting evening of turtle activities!
Learn more about the turtle conservation works at the Exhibition Hall
An information gallery is available, you can enjoy video presentations at the exhibition hall where it focuses on in dept information about the conservation works that goes into protecting turtle and marine life.
Visit the Turtle Hatchery
All three of the islands have their own turtle hatchery to protect these nests from natural predators such as birds, lizards, rats and ants. Hatcheries are managed carefully by on-site rangers. Eggs that are collected are planted in the hatchery and tagged along with their mother
Witness nesting mothers laying her eggs in the sand after dusk!
During the nesting process, visitors are taken to visit just one or two turtles for observation, this is so that disturbances to the nesting turtles are minimized
Baby turtle release!
If you’re extremely lucky, you’ll be able to witness the release of hatchlings back to the sea. An utterly amazing experience. There is also a turtle nest adoption program where you can be a part of to double your impact towards turtle conservation.