Three Park Islands
The Pulau Tiga Park comprises three islands-Pulau Tiga, Pulau Kalampunian Besar and Pulau Kalampunian Damit situated in the Kimanis bay, off the west coast of Sabah. Gazetted as a National Park in 1978, It covers approximately 15,257 hectares of sea and underwater habitat including the three islands. Lush forests serve as a soothing green backdrop for white sandy beaches and the clear unpolluted waters of the coral fringed seas.
Flora and fauna
The undisturbed shoreline abounds with a colourful variety of plant life such as the Barringtonia Asiatica easily distinguished by its delicate white flowers with pink stamenlike filaments. There are also Callophylum, Termanilia catappa, and Casuarina not forgetting the Ardisia, a small bushy tree with cluster of tiny pink flowers. The Ranggu and Keruing are also abundant here. One particularly important tree among tropical islanders is the Hibiscus tiliaceus, a tree with bright yellow flowers whose fibrous bark is used for ropes and boat caulking. It is also a souce of timber, firewood and medicine.
The many varieties of birds include the fish eating frigate birds which roost on Pulau Kalampunian Damit and the unusual looking megapode. Hornbills, night jars, magpies, bulbuls, the brilliantly coloured and fast moving sunbirds and black-naped bridled terns also inhabit the islands. Long-tailed macaques are easily discernible between the foliage while bats sleep hanging ‘upside-down’ from the trees waiting for evening before embarking on their nocturnal food hunting expeditions. Reptiles include the grey-tailed racer snake, the beautiful yellow-ringed cat snake found on Pulau Tiga and a large population of sea snake on Pulau Kalampunian Besar earning it the name , ‘Snake island’. There are also numerous water monitor lizards preying on the megapode eggs. The ‘homeless’ hermit crab can also be seen moving into shells abandoned by the sea snails or other mollusc like a fugitive avoiding detection!
A 7-km coral reef around the islands is home to some 35 general species and 98 species of hard corals and their accompanying ‘guests’-the brightly coloured fish and other marine life to whom the reef is home.
(Source : www.malaysiatrack.com)