One of the features of the Island of Mataking is our Turtle Hatchery which is consistently cared for by the resident marine biologist. Throughout the years, turtle conservation efforts by The Reef Dive Resort has resulted in the release of tens of thousands of baby turtles. We are also very proud to highlight that the Marine Conservation Department has an MOU with the Sabah Wildlife Department regarding the management of the Turtle Hatchery. In the year of 2019, around 11,000 turtle eggs have been brought into the hatchery while around 8000 baby turtles were released. Mataking has and will always be a nesting haven for the Green and Hawksbill species that frequent the island. Generally, both the Green and Hawksbill turtles nest throughout the year but the peak of nesting season for the Green Turtles lie in the months of July and August. During this time, tens of female turtles have been reported to come up simultaneously! Guests who are interested in seeing the nesting process can join the Night Beach Walk activity that would allow guests to observe nesting turtles up-close under strict supervision by the Turtle Patrol Team. For those who want to be a part of the Turtle family of Mataking, you can do so by being “Adoptive parents” for a nest, a certificate of your new parenthood will be given to adopters. Pictures and videos of your nest after they hatch will be sent via preferred convenience.
Every year, Mataking Island is a nesting ground for thousands of turtle eggs. Turtles being gentle and shy animals tend to only lay their nests in the dark of night. The Night Beach Walk activity by the Reef Dive Resort provides an opportunity for guests to witness and experience under close supervision, a female turtles journey towards nesting. A limited amount of guests per night will follow Mataking Island’s Turtle Patrol Team led by the islands resident marine biologist to venture around the island at night in search of nesting turtles. Guests will also be able to witness the collection of data and relocation of nests found to the Turtle Hatchery for the protection of these nests. Members of the Turtle Patrol Team consists of not only Honorary Wildlife Wardens but also certified volunteers from the different departments of the resort all working towards the safeguard and preservation of the turtle species that inhabit Mataking Island. Asides from seeing the turtles, you might be able to see the nocturnal animals that inhabit the island with us . One of those are the fruit bats that are native to the island, during the day you might be able to see hundreds of them sleeping in their wings above the tall trees around the island.
Years before The Reef Dive Resort inhabited the island, certain areas around the reef have been left barren by terrible cases of fish bombing. Ever since then, the resort has made in a priority to preserve and improve the coral cover along the reefs. The Coral Biscuit Project was first initiated by resident marine biologist, Aaron Roa in 2019. Assisting the project was volunteers from the Tropical Research and Conservation Centre (TRACC), led by science officer Jeethvendra . Opportunity corals are corals that have been accidentally broken off from large colony corals either through anthropogenic or natural means. These corals can be saved by attaching them to a stable substrate that would hold them in place. Rather than leaving them to the mercy of the sea, Coral Biscuits give them an opportunity to live. To date, hundreds of Coral Biscuits have been placed around the island of Mataking in the hopes of being able to recolonize rubbled dive sites.
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