Covering 19.4 sq kms, Talang Satang National Park also
known as the Talang Satang Turtle Islands was established to conserve the
marine turtle population in Sarawak.
The park comprises four islands on the south-western coast of Sarawak
including part of the surrounding Damai and Santubong coastline and sea.
The other islands are Pulau Talang Besar and Pulau Talang Kecil located
off the coast of Sematan as well as Pulau Satang Kecil near Santubong.
Of the four Turtle Islands, Pulau Talang Besar has consistently recorded
the highest daily turtle landings at times more than 30 come in to nest in
a single night. However the this and the rest of the Park that encompasses
the areas within the 2.8km of Pulau Talang Besar, Pulau Talang Kecil,
Pulau Satang Kecil and the Ara-Banun Wildlife Sanctuary are off limits
Tourists are however encouraged to visit Pulau Satang Besar during the
peak turtle-nesting season from April to September. Pulau Satang Besar the
largest of the islands, where turtles can be observed as they come ashore
to lay their eggs. The predominant species is the Green Turtle or penyu
agar (Chelonia mydas), contributing more than 80 per cent of all recorded
landings while the Hawksbill Turtle or penyu sisik (Eretmochelys imbricata)
comes in a distant second at less than 20 per cent. The rarer Olive Ridley
Turtle or penyu lipas (Lepidochelys olivacea) only comes to nest in the
rainy season from November to December.
Visits are confined to the main island of Pulau Satang Besar and guests
are advised to remain within the designated visitorís lodge and hatchery
supervised by Forestry wardens. Bring along ample drinking water and food
as there are no canteens on the island and leave with whatever youíve
brought to the island
Apart from watching turtles, tourists to the Damai Santubong area can also
spot the elusive Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris). Despite its
highly endangered status, the Irrawaddy dolphin seems to thrive here. It
inhabits mainly estuaries and coastal areas
Pulau Satang Besar is a 30-minute speedboat ride from either Damai Beach,
or Telaga Air Jetty along the Damai and Santubong coastline. There is no
regular boat service but you can make prior tour bookings for a visit