Cherating is famous with travellers who are looking for a destination where they can just kick back and relax on the beach. And most visitors would not give a second thought about the wildlife in the area. However, Cherating is home to a variety of unique and beautiful creatures, some you can only find here. In fact, there are tours and attractions you can visit to see the local wildlife up close and learn more about them. Let's take a look at the animals you can find here.
Being a seaside town, Cherating has the South China Sea on one side and a mangrove forest on the other. Running through the mangrove forest is the Cherating River and while it is considered a short river, at only seven kilometres long, it sustains a thriving ecosystem of mangrove trees and animals like snakes, crabs, monkeys and more. The river is generally calm, even upstream, and is segmented into fresh and saltwater areas where you can see diverse wildlife.
Cherating doesn't have much of a marine ecosystem right off its coast, but there are nearby islands such as Pulau Ular (Snake Island) which has a healthy population of coral reefs and tropical fish. That being said, Cherating is among Malaysia's top turtle nesting spots and is visited by multiple turtle species each year.
As one of the major turtle nesting sites in Malaysia, _Cheratin_g has species like the Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, and Olive Ridley Turtles which you can see at the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary. Here are some information about the turtles that come to Cherating.
Green Turtle - Also known as Penyu Agar is the most commonly found species in Cherating, and Malaysia as a whole. They are the only herbivorous species and are among the largest as well, growing up to 120 cm long and 180 kg in weight.
Hakwsbill Turtle - Also known as Peny Sisik or Penyu Karah has a narrow, pointed beak. They have a brightly coloured shell with overlapping scales that form serrated edges, making them highly sought and consequently, critically endangered.
Olive Ridley Turtle - This is the smallest of the sea turtles, growing up to 70 cm in length and 50 kg in weight. Known as Penyu Lipas, they have olive green shells and are the most common sea turtle species. However, they are still listed as vulnerable thanks to their limited number of nesting spots around the world.
Besides the sea turtles that come to nest on the beach, the Cherating River has numerous animals that you won't find anywhere else. The most common is the monitor lizard which lives in the forest along the river and can be spotted even near the beach. Other common animals include monkeys, snakes, mud crabs and otters.
The mangrove river and forest are also home to some less common animals. Here you can spot spider crabs as they climb on mangrove trees, owls resting on the branches, colourful like kingfishers and woodpeckers, as well as eagles circling above searching for prey.
One critter that the Cherating River is known for is the firefly. What is special about this mangrove forest is that the fireflies here are of the Pteroptyx bearni species, which do not flash their lights in unison with each other, unlike most fireflies around Malaysia. Instead, each firefly's light pulses to its own rhythm.
You can easily see all these wildlife when you visit Cherating. At the Cherating Turtle Sanctuary, you can see and learn about Malaysia's sea turtles, and even release baby turtles into the sea. To enjoy the beauty of the Cherating River and see the local wildlife, you can hop on a daytime mangrove river cruise. If you want to see and learn more about the magical fireflies up close, you can do that too; just join the firefly river cruise.
As you can see, Cherating has a thriving ecosystem that is worth exploring and protecting. If you're coming here on your next vacation, why not stay at Club Med Cherating? Besides providing top-notch accommodation, dining, and service, we can even arrange tours and excursions to the attractions mentioned above. See you soon!