Islands come in many sizes and offer very differing habitats – with the large ones having a greater variety of species while the smaller ones less so. Other factors that also contribute to its diversity are its distance from the mainland.
Malaysia offers large islands with a greater number of interesting species, to offshore islands that have less species diversity but large congregations of seabirds. Small islets are important as nesting areas for terns and locally some larger seabirds such as boobies.
Undisturbed sandy beaches, sand dunes and coastal flats provide valuable breeding areas for certain species, some of which are shared with larger rivers. These include plovers, Beach Thick knees, Sandpipers, Little Terns and many others.