Turtle Islands Park is located 40 km north of Sandakan and consist of tree islands, Pulau Selingaan, Pulau Bakkungaan Kecil and Pulau Gulisan. The park is known for its protection of the nesting of two endangered species of the sea turtle, the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the smaller hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). The two turtle species lay their eggs here year-round.
The green turtle can live for a century and grow to 160 kg. They are endangered due to their eggs, which are considered a delicacy. The female come ashore to dig trenches in the sand and lay between 80-165 eggs. The Hawksbill turtle is a bit smaller with a length of the carapace between 70–90 cm. It lays around 100-180 eggs per clutch. Afterwards the turtle returns to the sea.
Back in the park, the eggs are uncovered and collected by the rangers. They are taken to a hatchery to protect them from being hunted and from its natural predators such as lizards. In about 50-60 days the turtles break out of their shells and is put in to the sea by the rangers.
The conservation program was started in 1927 and in 1966 the first hatchery in Malaysia was undertaken on Pulau Selingaan. Today the rangers collects over 600.000 eggs each year just counting Selingaan.
It is possible for visitors to stay overnight at Selingaan Island but it is limited to around 50 people a night. It is only possible to go on a organised tour either through the franchise operator, Crystal Quest, or by agents in Sandakan or Kota Kinabalu.