Marine Life and Wildlife at Sipadan Island

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Marine Life and Wildlife at Sipadan Island

As one of the top dive sites in the world, Sipadan Island has been blessed with a myriad of reefs amidst crystal clear blue water. With visibility of between 60 and 200 feet, the sea surrounding this mushroom shaped island is a perfect habitat for over 3000 species of fish. Beautiful hard and soft coral thrive abundantly, almost untouched by the spoils of civilization. This is the perfect feeding ground for reef fishes of various shapes, sizes, breeds and color. In fact, turtles are common sight here, as they rest and feed in peace within the ledges of the Drop-Off.

As colorful parrot fish, butterfly fish, angel fish, and hundreds of other colored fishes play amongst the corals, divers will also marvel at the passing schools of barracudas, parrot fish or needle fish. Search within staghorns, and you may be able to catch a glimpse of a tiny clown fish foraging for food. Looking between the rock crevices, you will see hiding eels or even a small shrimp. Sea cucumbers and star fish line the floor of the sea, while small fishes and eels hide under large boulders.

The abundance of small fishes also attracts the presence of larger predator fish, such as the small Black Tipped Reef Sharks, Hammerheads, manta rays and even large cuttlefish. Even turtles seeking for jellyfish can be seen gliding gently over the seabed, although the sheer abundance of the turtles in Sipadan will surprise you!

If you are taking a night dive, you may even catch a glimpse of the lion fish, leaf fish and frog fish, possibly taken aback by the light you use to shine on them. Of course, night dives bring out a foray of different type of marine life, such as the Bumphead Parrot Fish, all types of crabs and nudibranchs amidst the vivid colors of the corals at night.

While the rich marine is the true highlight of Pulau Sipadan, this island is also a habitat for many types of birds. The lush fauna within has helped this island earn its status as a bird sanctuary as declared in 1933. Bird watchers are able to catch glimpses of the white-collared kingfisher, sea eagles, olive-backed sunbird and pigeons. On the ground, monitor lizards and coconut crabs also make Sipadan their home.

This has been only just a glimpse of the variety of species you will find when you visit Sipadan. A visit to this island is necessary to marvel at the awesome beauty Sipadan has to offer.

Jacob Mojiwat recommends for your next Sipadan diving trip.

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