A Sanctuary for Birds Near The City Centre
Kota Kinabalu’s Bird Sanctuary
Located in the heart of KK city, this 24 hectare area of mangrove forest is the last of its kind in the region. Home to waterbirds such as egrets, herons, greenshank and redshanks, canopy birds – kingfishers, doves, starlings, lora’s and pigeons, the area is also a key rest and feeding place for birds on migration paths.
Mudskippers, fidlers crabs, mud crabs and mud lobsters can be seen, especially at low tide on the mangrove mud flats. Horseshoe crabs are also around, although they’re quite rare.
The area was designated a bird sanctuary by the state government in September 1996 to help foster a better understanding and awareness on the value of wetlands. In 1998, it was declared a State Cultural Heritage Site.
A Green Lunch for a Busy City
As a wetland and natural flood retention area, KKWC plays a major role for the city of KK, preventing possible downstream flooding, removing toxicants and sediments and recycling nutrients. It is also a nursery ground for many juvenile ocean fish. A green lung for the city, its location is strategic for environmental education, urban recreation and eco tourism.
Mangrove forests, such as the one in KKWC, are found in saline coastal areas, in the intertidal zone where salt water is washed through twice a day with the tide. The trees and shrubs living here are deprived of oxygen and must survive in water-logged mud with intense sunshine.
Nature has various ways of dealing with these environmental challenges. Some species grow stilt roots so they can prop themselves up out of the water and intake gases directly form the atmosphere, often storing these nutrients so they can survive at high tide when the prop roots are submerged.
A Walk in the Bird Park
There are 9 different species of mangrove within the sanctuary as well as ferns, shrubs and other naturally growing vegetation. A walkway runs through the area keeping visitors above vegetation. There is also a lookout point standing about 30m high and a bird hide where a breeding colony of Purple Heron can be seen.
The sanctuary is open from 8am – 6pm Daily.
Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary
Off Jalan Bukit Bendera Upper, Likas.
Ph: 088 246 955
Fx: 088 247 955