Terrestrial Life at Turtle Islands Park

Terrestrial Flora

Turtle Islands Park are covered with a variety of plant life. There are 35 species of plants were identified on the island of which 11 species were natural while the rest were planted (coconut, papaya etc) by the management to enhance vegetation cover on the island.

The vegetation along the beach consist of a mixture of species with certain species being more dominant along some parts of the beach. These plants covered the whole stretch of beach thus providing some form pf protection to the sandy beaches against strong waves which occur certain time of the year.

The plant life which includes mangrove, lantana, the yellow-flowered sophora and the furry silver-leaved Tournefortia etc.

Terrestrial Fauna

Rodent (common house rat – Rattus rattus) and Bat (the Island Flying Fox) are the only mammal species known to occur and observed on the islands. There was no other mammalian species that was recorded or observed at both terrestrial and marine areas of the islands. This might be due to the remoteness, disturbed habitats due to weather and climatic effects, small size of the islands and shallow waters that surround the island.

A total of 20 bird species were recorded and observed on the Turtle Islands Park. The bird species diversity indices were low for all three Turtle Islands Park of Pulau Selingaan, Pulau Bakkungan Kechil and Pulau Gulisaan. This due to species richness being low and that the population of bird species on the islands are not proportionate.

The common birds occurring on the Turtle Islands Park are the Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes melacensis), Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis), Collared Kingfisher (Halcyon chloris), Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) etc.

There are five wetland and marine bird species occurring on the islands; Black-napped tern (Sterna sumatrana), Lesser-frigate bird (Frigata ariel) and the Little Heron (Butorides striatus). The only raptor species occurring on the islands is the Brahminy-kite (Haliastur indus). This species is the only bird that prey on the turtle hatchlings.

There was no snake, toad and frog being observed on the island and only monitor lizard’s (Varanus salvator) population are abundant. They are commonly observed preying on turtle eggs during night and are also commonly observed during day time in the shady vegetated areas on all three Islands.

Other common species of herpetofauna are the Golden Skink and Gecko. The skinks are found in the vegetated areas and the Geckos dwell in the houses preying on insects.