Tag Archives: Sunda colugo

Marching for MacRitchie

It’s been a wild month! As part of the March for MacRitchie campaign organised by the Love Our MacRitchie Forest Movement, we have hosted a bunch of cool activities to raise awareness about our natural heritage and the proposed Cross Island MRT Line (CRL).

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Check out our cool specimens!

Through events like conservation booths and guided trail walks, we have sought to ignite a zest for nature. It was fantastic to have so many interested individuals come forth, eager to learn more about the CRL issue and our beautiful nature reserves. From signing the petition (over 11,000 signatures and counting!), to writing postcards and to talking about why they want to conserve our nature reserves, it was heartwarming to see support being so enthusiastically given.

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Just one of the cool postcards designed by our very own Jacqueline Chua

It was also great to see so many participants coming down on our walks, brimming with eagerness and questions. A big thanks to all those who came down to support our events! We hope you walked away having learned something new and rekindled your passion for nature.

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Photos by Juin Bin

As you might know, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been exploring the possibility of constructing the proposed CRL through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CNNR). With the completion of part 1 of the EIA and the recent media hype about the Cross Island Line, there has been a surge of interest in our nature reserves. The countless articles written by people from all walks of life has provided a rich perspective on this issue. If you’re clueless on where to start, we have plenty of recommendations on our Facebook page. It remains ever vital that people are informed about upcoming plans for our forests. After all, you cannot miss what you don’t know.

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Come sssssee about me (Photo by Emmanuel Goh)

CCNR retains one of the few patches of primary forest left in Singapore [1]. This is important as primary forest (untouched jungles) are known to support a rich spectrum of biodiversity unlike most secondary forests (regenerated jungles) [2]. Many cool creatures inhabiting its depths such as the Sunda Colugo (Galeopterus variegatus) and the Malayan blue coral snake (Calliophis bivirgata).

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Photo by Jeanice Aw

It is also likely that this patch of forest does provide priceless ecosystem services for Singaporeans. Other than acting as the green lungs of earth, forests are able to provide various other benefits such as filtering rain water, resulting in a cleaner and clearer reservoir [3]. This wonderful piece of natural heritage deserves our protection and we continue to stand by the Zero Impact policy. We advocate conserving the ecosystem, avoiding any long-lasting impacts on the environment.

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Photo by Melissa Wong

Through the March for MacRitchie campaign, the word about the CRL issue and the beauty of our nature reserves have spread. However, the fight has only begun! We will continue to seek to reach out to more of our fellow Singaporeans. It is our hope that these few patches of untouched forest with its numerous inhabitants would still be here to inspire generations to come.

References:

  1. Ng, P.K.L. et al. (eds.) (2011) Singapore Biodiversity: An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore.
  2. Corlett, R. (2014). The ecology of tropical east asia (Second ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681341.001.0001
  3. Chapin, F. S. I., Matson, P. A., & Vitousek, P. M. (2011). Principles of terrestrial ecosystem ecology (2nd ed.). New York: Springer.

Words by Melissa Wong

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All trained up and ready to GUIDE

Photo by Jacqueline Chua

Our public walks are right around the corner, and we have been tirelessly retraining our volunteer teams over the past two weekends to provide higher quality guiding for all of you. A lot has changed along the Petai Trail, with new additions and some passings, so come with us to know even much more!

A delightful sight

Malayan Flying Lemur. Photo by Aw Jeanice

For the first time on the Petai Trail, we caught sight of the Malayan Flying Lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), which is a misnomer for not only is not a lemur, it also does not fly! The more accurate common name is the Sunda Colugo. The Sunda colugos are usually mottled grey in colour but color variants exists. The one we documented is a brown variant with reddish to orange brown fur. Feel free to share your photos with the BES Drongos if you have seen any colugos along the Petai Trail!

Follow that monkey, indeed

Geater Racket-Tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Greater Racket-tailed Drongos. Photo by Aw Jeanice

The namesake of our guiding group, the greater racket-tailed drongos (Dicrurus paradiseus), were sighted following a group of macaques around. When it comes to food, these extremely intelligent birds have a few tricks up their wings!If you are wondering why they do that, you can check out our previous post to learn more about these clever and sneaky creatures!

Eulogies to our glorious Asam tree

Photo by Aw Jeanice
The Great Asam tree, now dead. Photo by Aw Jeanice

Over the course of the past few months, we have seen a rise in the number of trees that have succumbed to termites’ insatiable demand for wood. The magnificent Asam gelugur (Garcinia atroviridis) has its bark stripped off and branches bare, although it still looks undeniably beautiful. We here at Drongos are going to miss telling how the ripe fruits of this tree, ‘Asam Keping’, are used in making our yummy curries. Both the massive Chestnut tree (Castanopsis schefferiana) and the endemic bat laurel (Prunus polystachya) tree were also severely damaged by the termites which come and go, leaving only wreckage and darkbrown trails of their poop!

Many people still do not know how to differentiate termites from ants, but we don’t blame them. They look remarkably similar and their size range is comparable to ants. However, termites are in fact more closely related to cockroaches (order Blattodea) than ants (order Formicidae)!

If you wish to know more about them, simply come on any of our trails. Don’t hover over the sign up link there (→) anymore – click it, you won’t regret it! Even our BES freshmen of class 2019 who joined us had fun! And when you see us on the Petai Trail and are interested to share with other people about our guided walks, feel free to ask us for a name card freshly printed for you!

Photo by Jacqueline Chua
BES Freshmen. Photo by Jacqueline Chua

Check out our flickr page for more photos taken by our photographers Jacqueline Chua, Emmanuel Goh, Teo Rui Xiang and myself, Aw Jeanice!