Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary






East Asian - Australasian flyway


WLI Asia


Under the directive of the State Government, the Likas Wetland Sanctuary Management Committee (LWSMC) was established as the mechanism for planning and coordinating the development of KKCBS.

Management and funding

Since 1996, WWF-Malaysia Borneo Programme has acted as the secretariat to the LWSMC and plays a major role in the operation and education programme of the sanctuary. Sabah Wetland Society is being set up to take over the management of KKCBS.

The four main objectives are:

Conservation and regeneration

Education and awareness


Recreation and tourism.

The Sabah State Government provided the initial funding to put in place many infrastructure developments. The centre depends on conservation levy collected from visitors. We also receive funds from grant-giving bodies, corporate and individual sponsorships. There are about 10,000 visitors per year.
For further information, please visit www.wwfmalaysia.org/kkcbs 


The State Government designated KKCBS as a bird sanctuary in September 1996. Later in 1998, it was again gazetted as a State Cultural Heritage Site. This gives KKCBS double protection. The sanctuary has been opened to the public since March 2000.


Formerly known as the Likas Mangrove, this 24 hectare site is the only remaining patch of a once extensive mangrove forest found in the coastal town of Kota Kinabalu.



Work Areas

Interpretation and exhibitory

Some interpretative panels have been installed along the boardwalk and they are being updated and redesigned.
An exhibition about ‘Water & Wetlands’ is being planned for the exhibition hall and will be ready by early 2004. It will use all kinds of media.

Formal (school and university) learning

The Environmental Education Programme caters for students from preschool to university.
The Environmental Education Programme comes in a few different modules. Among these are ‘ Exploring KKCBS’, ‘ Ecology of Mangroves’, Nature Detective’, ‘Mud Trail’ and ‘ Bird Watching’. Other activities conducted are nature art, environmental games, slide show, interpretative walk, mangrove replanting, mud walk and other awareness activities.
Schools should book in advance with the Environmental Education Centre for an Environmental Education Programme. All the activities are fun, exciting and educational.

Informal (general public) learning

The centre has published a guidebook called, ‘It’s A Mangrove Out There !’ for visitors to learn more about KKCBS.
Special events such as World Wetlands Day, Earth Day, World Environment Day, and Malaysia Environmental Week are celebrated.

We also conduct an environmental awareness camp for teachers, and organise clean-up activities, mangrove replanting and other activities that involve the public.
We have a group of approximately 50 Voluntary Guardians that was formed to assist in management, conservation education, and fundraising for the Bird Sanctuary. A Capacity Building Workshop was organised to train them in the required knowledge and skills.


The centre has six staff headed by a Manager. Other staff are an Education Officer, Maintenance and Development Officer, Visitor Services Officer, and two general helpers.


Key species/features

To date, more than 85 bird species have been recorded. Located on the migration route from northern Asia, the Bird Sanctuary is an important feeding and breeding ground for many migratory birds. There is a breeding colony of Purple Herons coexisting with Rufous Night Herons and Black-crowned Night Herons.

The mangrove canopy is also home to many different birds including White Collared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Green Imperial Pigeon and Spotted Dove .
Other mangrove wildlife includes mudskipper, fiddler crab, mud crab, horseshoe crab, water snakes, monitor lizards, butterflies, weaver ants and more.


KKCBS is readily accessible, being close to the town centre and with approximately 15 primary and secondary schools within a 2km. radius. A large number of schools are also within an hour drive of the site – consequently the catchment area of the Bird Sanctuary is extensive.

Students, teachers and the public can benefit greatly from an education centre located in the city area, to learn more about the importance and values of the wetland area. The Bird Sanctuary is a tidal mangrove wetland fed with saline and fresh water. This site is important as an urban wetland. It provides for urban recreation, nature appreciation, ecotourism attraction, and environmental education for children and adults.

There are nine species of mangroves at the site. Mangrove plants are specially adapted to grow in mud and brackish water. Different mangrove plants have different ways to overcome the challenges they face in a mangrove environment.

At the moment, KKCBS has an education centre with an audio-visual room and resource library. A fresh water pond and a weather station are located next to the centre. A second education centre will be ready by the end of 2003. It will house an exhibition hall and a children’s laboratory. There is a 1.5 km. boardwalk leading into the mangrove forest. There is also a bird watching hide, tower hide, and outdoor classroom.




Miss Chai Hsieh Nee, Education Officer

E: hsiehnee@yahoo.com

KotaKinabalu City Bird Sanctuary,
Off Jalan Bukit Bendera Upper, 88400 Likas,

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

T: (+6088) 246955;
F: (+6088) 247955;

E: kkcbs@tm.net.my