Malaysia My Destination : Info about Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
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Sarawak : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
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  TOURIST ATTRACTION
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SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO
KUCHING : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS - Talang Satang National Park
 
 

TALANG-SATANG

NATIONAL PARK

 

KUCHING DISTRICT :

NATIONAL & NATURE PARKS

 

Sarawak?s first marine protected area, Talang-Satang National Park covers an area of 19,414 hectares and was gazetted in 1999 to enhance marine turtle conservation in Sarawak. The park encompasses the coastline and waters surrounding four islands; Pulau Talang-Talang Besar and Pulau Talang-Talang Kecil (located off Sematan), and Pulau Satang Besar and Pulau Satang Kecil (located off Santubong).

 

These small islands are surrounding by patches of shallow coral reef which provide shelter and resting grounds for sea turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs. Three of the islands in the park - Talang Talang Besar, Talang Talang Kecil and Satang Besar - are known as Sarawak?s "Turtle Islands." Adult female turtles return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs, often travelling thousands of kilometres. Whilst four species of marine turtles are known to nest in Sarawak, the Green Turtle accounts for 90% of the turtle landings recorded. The park?s Turtle Islands account for 95% of all recorded turtle landings in Sarawak, a clear indicator of the importance of Talang-Satang for marine turtle conservation.

 

Marine turtles face a number of threats including entanglement in fishing nets, habitat destruction, water pollution, collection of eggs, boat strikes, predation of eggs and hatchlings by birds, monitor lizards, civet cats and other wild and domestic animals, poaching for meat or shells, and ingestion of marine debris such as plastic bags.

 

 
 

Owing to these threats the state government carries out turtle conservation programmes in the park. This conservation work dates back to the 1940?s when the Sarawak Museum embarked on a long-term research project. Thanks to the Museum?s pioneering work, records of landings date back to 1946. Large scale turtle conservation work began in 1951 when over 20,000 eggs where collected and transferred to a natural beach hatchery. In 1953 the first tagging of Green turtles was done.

 

Today, Sarawak Forestry manages the national park and has set up a number of hatcheries. During the peak turtle nesting season (May - September), park wardens monitor the beaches for turtle landings, remove eggs from the nests and place them in the hatcheries. After 40 to 60 days incubation, the young hatchlings are released and scamper across the beach to the sea.

 

The Talang-Satang National Park also includes the Pulau Tukong Ara-Banun Wildlife Sanctuary, two small islets located close to the Satang Islands. Pulau Tokong Ara, the larger of the two rocky outcrops, is home to breeding colonies of bridled terns and black-naped terns. Black coloured pacific reef egrets are also frequently sighted on the rock. Tokong Ara is best seen as part of a wider coastal tour of the Santubong area.

 

 
 
VISITING PULAU SATANG BESAR

Pulau Satang Besar, the largest of the park?s islands, is open to visitors and accessible by boat from Santubong or Damai Beach. Standard national park fees apply and tickets can be purchased on the island. There is a small information centre near the beach and visitors can also view the turtle hatchery. The beach on Satang is one of the best in Sarawak and it is possible to snorkel on the nearby reef if there is good visibility.

 

Visitors can stay overnight on Satang Island in privately owned chalets. Facilities are very basic, but you won?t spend much time in your room as you?ll be on the beach waiting for turtles to land. CPH Travel (Tel: 243708. Email: cphtrvl@streamyx.com) run overnight trips to Satang during the nesting season and day trips to Satang can be combined with their other boat tours such as dolphin watching and the Santubong Wildlife Cruise (see Damai & Santubong Section).

 
 
VISITING PULAU TALANG BESAR

Turtles take priority over tourists at Pulau Talang Besar so access to the island is restricted to researchers and national park staff. However, you can visit the island as a volunteer on Sarawak Forestry?s Sea Turtle Adoption Programme. This allows volunteers to spend 4 days learning more about turtles and taking part in a range of activities including: beach patrols to locate turtle landings; monitoring of nesting activities; tagging and measuring turtles; transferring eggs to the hatchery; releasing hatchlings and data recording.

 

The volunteer programme is open from May to September and costs RM600 for Malaysians and RM1,200 for non-Malaysians. The price includes accommodation and turtle/nest adoption fees but excludes park guide fees, meals, transport from Kuching, ground handling fees and insurance. The total package price depends on the number of people in your group and is likely to be around RM2,500 per person.

 
 
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
  • Diving

  • Snorkeling

  • Fishing

 
 
ACCOMMODATION

Only available on the mainland.

 
 
GETTING THERE

Day trips can be made to the Satang Besar Island with the permission of the Talang-Satang National Park office. It is just a 30-minute boat ride from Damai Beach.

 
 
 
KUCHING : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS - Talang Satang National Park
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO