09 Aug 2018
Masirah Island, Oman’s largest island, is an underrated one, yet one which boasts rich ecological diversity. The abundance of terrestrial, marine and bird species have all contributed to making this island an important environmental site and touristic attraction in the Sultanate.
Besides the fish, crustacean and mollusc varieties, Masirah Island is home to the second largest gathering in the world of the Loggerhead Turtle, and the largest in the Indian Ocean. Around 30-60 thousand Loggerhead turtles nest there on a yearly basis. Additionally, the Olive and Hawksbill Turtles’ gathering in Oman is considered to be the largest in the world, with 500 to 1500 eggs yearly.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the turtles nesting in Oman are all at risk of endangerment. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs said that the Sultanate has made many efforts to preserve and protect its sea turtles and their habitats.
Bird watching is also a common activity in Masirah Island. A large number of birds can be found, originating from the Arabian Peninsula, India, Pakistan, East Africa, Siberia and Europe.
According to Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed al-Ghailani, Director of Community Affairs and Environmental Awareness at the Environment Society of Oman, the island requires having its important environmental sites protected and being classified as a natural reserve.
For those seeking to explore peaceful, deserted beaches and unique wildlife, traveling to Masirah Island is ideal. Watersports are also common here. Although camping is still the recommended way of experiencing the island, you will also find some small, new hotels. Access is only made possible by a small ferry for cars or by flight.