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Tioman Island

A nature reserve with pleasant surprises

Discover Tioman Island

Tioman Island lies off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, in the South China Sea. It’s a nature reserve, ringed by beaches. The area is known for its dive sites, which have corals, sea fans and sea sponges, as well as shipwrecks. The island is covered in tropical rainforests, home to butterflies, lizards and monkeys. On the east coast, the Juara Turtle Project is a hatchery that protects and studies sea turtles.

 

The marine area around Tioman Island and eight other nearby islands have been declared as marine parks and marine reserves.

Apart from its diverse marine life, the inland rain forest area was protected in 1972 as the Pulau Tioman Wildlife Reserve. However, a large part of the original reserve was sacrificed for agricultural and touristic development in 1984; the remaining area is approximately 8,296 ha (20,500 acres). There are several protected species of mammals on the island, including the binturong, long-tailed macaque, slow loris, black giant squirrel, red giant flying squirrel, mouse deer, brush-tailed porcupine, and common palm civet, from a total of 45 species of mammals and 138 species of birds, including the majestic frigatebird. Moreover, Tioman has species that are endemic to its shores. The Tioman walking catfish Clarias batu can be seen on rainforest walks.Kajang slender litter frog is only known from Mount Kajang.

Tioman’s corals have been affected by a mass bleaching event in 2010 whereby the island lost a significant portion of its live coral cover. That resulted in a lot of the corals turning a dull white colour and some even fragmenting into pieces of dead coral skeleton. The 2016 bleaching event only just touched on Tioman’s Coral Reefs, and as such, the coral has remained in good and healthy condition.