Turtle Islands Sanctuary

Turtle Islands, Tawi-Tawi

Turtle Islands, also known as Turtle Isles, is a fifth class municipality composed of a remote group of seven islands in the province of Tawi-Tawi in the Southern Philippines. According to the 2010 census it has a population of 3,772 people. The islands are located within the Sulu Sea at the southwestern tip of the country, at the edge of the international treaty limits separating the Philippines ...

and Malaysia.

In the Philippines, mud volcanoes are known to exist only on the Turtle Islands. Presence of these formations are evident on three of the islands - Lihiman, Great Bakkungaan and Boaan Islands. The hills on these islands are mostly mud volcanoes. On Great Bakkungan Island, gray mud quietly flows from the vent in a pulsating manner accompanied by gas bubbling. On Boan Island, mud extrusion have ceased for a number of years.

Together with three islands of neighbor country Malaysia and the surrounding coral waters, Turtle Islands are one of the world's few remaining major nesting grounds for the Green Sea Turtles. In 1996, the islands were declared as Turtle Islands Heritage Protected area by the governments of the Philippines and Malaysia as the only way to guarantee the continued existence of the green sea turtles and their nesting sites.

For the five islands, the Philippine government decided to create special protection zones, and within this zones, only scientific and conservation activities are allowed. In other zones, certain rules are adapted in order to prevent too much impact by people on the environment and the turtles. Visiting these zones is only possible with strict guidance and under supervision of the staff of the officials of the government.

For a successful conservation and protection program, the support of the locals was very important. Fishing, for most of them, is the most important activity and source of income. Hunting sea turtles and collecting the turtle eggs for food, had always been a possible source for additional income. From the end of August to December, turtles come by the hundreds from the surrounding coastal waters, to lay and dig their eggs into the sand. The staff of the conservation project were able to succeed in convincing the locals the need to minimize their collecting activities. Local men, women and children, are now involved, helping with the protection activities.  Wiki

Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary and Marine Reserve Park News

  • Scientists Tracking 20 Green Marine Turtles Highlight Need To Protect Sea Life In Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape

    A study on the migration pattern of green marine turtles from the Turtle Island Heritage Park Protected Area calls for the establishment of a transboundary network of marine-protected areas (MPAs) in the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape, which covers Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.

    Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim of the DENRs Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) said scientists have been tracking green marine turtles to learn more about the mysterious marine wildlifes behavior.

    Five of the worlds eight marine ...

  • Witnessing Turtles Nest And Hatch

    Witnessing Turtles Nest And Hatch

    Watching a turtle hatchling crawl its way to the sea and swim away draws out a mix of emotions: exhiliration and hope, but at the same time, sadness and fear.

    The Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area is one place I never thought I would be able to reach in my lifetime until the opportunity was handed to me on a silver plate through the Turtle Conservation Society of the Philippines and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. These islands, nine in total, are located in waters shared by the Philippines and Malaysia and are considered as globally important nesting grounds for sea ...

  • Climate Change Hastens Extinction Of Pawikan

    Climate Change Hastens Extinction Of Pawikan

    Climate change is partly being blamed for the dwindling global population of marine turtles. Conservation experts in the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary (TIWS) suggest that the problem could be worse.

    They said El NiƱo and beach erosion caused by climate change-triggered effects, such as sea-level rise and storm surges because of the intensifying typhoons, might hasten the extinction of these mysterious creatures of the sea.

    The downtrend in the number of nesting marine turtles and eggs in the TIWS has been observed over the past decade by the Department of Environment and Natural Re ...

  • Saving The Endangered Pawikan Part 2

    Saving The Endangered Pawikan Part 2

    Pawikan conservation program

    Institutionalized in 1979 with the signing of Executive Order 54 creating Task Force Pawikan by former President Ferdinand Marcos, conservation efforts in the Philippines have gone a long way. The pawikan conservation program, which used to be a special project, is now part of the wildlife resources-conservation and protection program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB).

    The DENR-BMB's pawikan conservation and protection efforts are the country's contribution to the global effort to save the endange ...

  • Tawi Tawi Gains P1B From Tourists

    Tawi-Tawi, one of the five provinces belonging to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), is getting an increasing number of local and foreign tourists who in 2015 spent close to P1 billion there.

    Marites Maguindra, secretary of the Department of Tourism-ARMM (DOT-ARMM), said local and foreign tourists arriving in 2015 to the island province reached 55,085 or a 14.3-percent increase from 2014 while posting P965 million in gross tourism receipts.

    Over 48,189 tourists came to the province for holidays or business. Tawi-Tawi is the southernmost province in the country and covers sm ...

  • Saving The Endangered Pawikan

    Saving The Endangered Pawikan

    We receive reports almost every week [from all over the Philippines]," environmental advocate AA Yaptinchay said of the marine turtles which are held in captivity, trapped, caught in nets, or found dead.

    Yaptinchay, founder and director of Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, described the unfortunate plight of the endangered marine turtles, popularly known as pawikan, in the country despite an ongoing wildlife-conservation program.

    Through social media, the group receives reports about abuses against marine mammals, particularly marine turtles, which it relays to the Department of ...