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Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

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Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by Pal » Tue, 18 Jun 2024 9:19 am

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In early February 2017, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) drew widespread condemnation by angry citizens who were outraged about the culling of free-ranging chickens in Sin Ming, Pasir Ris and Thomson View. In its response to a query from the local paper, TODAY, the AVA is reported to have said that the culled chickens did not belong to the endangered red jungle fowl species in Singapore, and that the culling had to be done as ‘free-ranging chickens can pose a potential threat to public health… there is a likelihood of an incursion of bird flu into Singapore, as bird flu is endemic in the region.’

While the issue may have ruffled quite a few feathers, it did get many people thinking about the plight of wildlife in Singapore, as well as their own roles in ensuring a continued peaceful coexistence with the animals that live here. Despite being an extremely urbanised city and maintaining the third highest population density in the world, Singapore does have a surprisingly rich and varied biodiversity that encompasses all manner of flora and fauna, from the exotic pangolin to the common pigeon.

Due to the scarcity of natural habitats, many species of wildlife may be spotted even in the most unlikely of urban areas in Singapore. Expatriates who reside close to forested areas or nature reserves should keep their eyes open as there’s an extremely high chance that they’d catch a glimpse of some of Singapore’s local wildlife near their homes.

Monkeys
The most common species of monkey in Singapore is the long-tailed macaque, otherwise known as the crab-eating macaque. Commonly spotted in the Bukit Timah area and the Central Catchment Nature Reserves, solo macaques may also be spotted on occasion cutting through urban areas en route to new homes. For a close look at these monkeys, make your way to local nature reserves and you may be able to see these animals sitting high up in the trees, and also near ground level on low fences and barricades. Macaques have grown to associate bags with food, so endeavour to keep your food well concealed and your bags close to you. If one approaches you aggressively, make sure to reduce eye contact, avoid smiling or baring your teeth, and move away.

Civet cats
The Asian Palm Civet is one of the more elusive creatures to spot due to its nocturnal leanings and its penchant for solitary activity. A civet cat is slightly smaller than a small tabby cat, and its fur is black, with white streaks. In Singapore, they’d most likely be encountered by people who live in landed property, as these quiet, swift and agile creatures adore living in crawl spaces or other nooks and crannies near roofs. The sound of civet cat activity may convince homeowners that these animals are trapped and unable to escape. But as civet cats are strong and agile creatures with excellent climbing and jumping prowess, there’s usually very little need to worry. They mostly subsist on fruits, though they also eat small mammals and insects on occasion.

Snakes
Did you know that there are approximately 85 species of snakes in Singapore? Despite being so numerous, snakes have generally been spotted only by a few as these animals avoid humans, and dart away when they sense people approaching. Snakes can be observed in natural areas such as a park or reserve, but certain species are also frequently seen in urban areas. Pythons, for instance, are frequently spotted as these large snakes adore living in drains and canals. Some of the most commonly spotted snakes in Singapore include the House Wolf Snake, Paradise Tree Snake, the Reticulated Python and the Black Spitting Cobra. Despite these fearsome names, of the four, only the Black Spitting Cobra is considered venomous.

Monitor lizards
The Malayan Water Monitor is the most commonly sighted species of monitor lizard in Singapore. Commonly spotted in natural areas with water close by, these lizards may grow up to an imposing 1.5 metres in length. They rarely go hungry as they feed on a wide variety of animals such as crabs, snakes, fish, and even insects. While they don’t pose a threat to people and aren’t venomous, their mouth contains bacteria—some strong enough to bring down their prey—which may cause an untreated bite to become infected. These reptiles can be easily spotted at the Chinese Gardens and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Birds
The most noticeable of all wildlife in Singapore, birds can be spotted everywhere around you. There are over 300 species of birds in Singapore. The most common birds include the Rock Pigeon, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, the Javan Mynah, the House Crow, and the Spotted Dove. Between October and March, sunny Singapore is also used as a stopover for migratory birds, some coming from as far as Siberia! To stand a good chance of spotting these migratory birds, your best bet would be to head down to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve or Pulau Ubin.
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jalanjalan
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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by jalanjalan » Tue, 18 Jun 2024 11:16 am

There are some red jungle fowl in our neighbourhood park. The rooster is a very handsome fellow. I think his girlfriends are mostly mixed regular chickens though.

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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by smoulder » Tue, 18 Jun 2024 3:25 pm

A list of all the "exotic" (considering we live in a very urbanized country) creatures that I've seen personally:
1. Otters (which you missed - how could you :D)
2. Snake - I think it was a python but not very sure. There was also a very exotic bright green snake I saw at Pulau Ubin... I'm no expert, so I have no idea what type it was
3. Monitor lizards
4. Turtles
5. Jungle fowl

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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by Wd40 » Tue, 18 Jun 2024 9:32 pm

We visited KL, there were so many monkeys in Batu caves and so many cats everywhere. My daughter absolutely loves animals. We even went to an elephant sanctuary about 2hrs away from KL named Kuala Gandah, had a great time.

KL is so easily accessible by road from Singapore. We went to Larkin and then took the bus to KL, without any pre booking, same thing on the return. On the return, at Larkin we had Dominos pizza at Larkin. Dominos Malaysia is 10X better than Dominos Singapore and costs half the price. We just loved the whole trip.

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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by jalanjalan » Tue, 18 Jun 2024 11:46 pm

smoulder wrote:
Tue, 18 Jun 2024 3:25 pm
There was also a very exotic bright green snake I saw at Pulau Ubin... I'm no expert, so I have no idea what type it was
oriental whip snake maybe? I saw one in Sungei Buloh once.

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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by Pal » Wed, 19 Jun 2024 12:30 am

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Peacock on the roads 😁
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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by smoulder » Wed, 19 Jun 2024 1:51 pm

jalanjalan wrote:
Tue, 18 Jun 2024 11:46 pm
smoulder wrote:
Tue, 18 Jun 2024 3:25 pm
There was also a very exotic bright green snake I saw at Pulau Ubin... I'm no expert, so I have no idea what type it was
oriental whip snake maybe? I saw one in Sungei Buloh once.
I looked it up and I believe you are right - that seems to be the beautiful green snake that I saw.

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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by Pal » Wed, 19 Jun 2024 5:17 pm

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Monkey sighting today 😃
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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 20 Jun 2024 11:34 am

smoulder wrote:
Wed, 19 Jun 2024 1:51 pm
jalanjalan wrote:
Tue, 18 Jun 2024 11:46 pm
smoulder wrote:
Tue, 18 Jun 2024 3:25 pm
There was also a very exotic bright green snake I saw at Pulau Ubin... I'm no expert, so I have no idea what type it was
oriental whip snake maybe? I saw one in Sungei Buloh once.
I looked it up and I believe you are right - that seems to be the beautiful green snake that I saw.
I lived off the beaten track In a pre-WWII Black & White in Seletar Camp (end of Jln Kayu) from 1983 till late 1999) It was considered well off the beaten track. I had an endless supply of not often seen critters in my compound at one time or another (several monitor lizards and other assorted lizards, lots of black spitting cobras and occasionally a python and the aforementioned green whip snake (most often found in one of my ornamental trees. Bats by the '000's and flying foxes by the dozens late at night circling a large tree that bore a hard small green fruit (the name of the tree I know but it escapes me now. When NP cut it down it was about 4 stories tall and based on the ring count was well over 120 years old. Anyway, my place was a veritable botanic gardens back in those days. All kinds of critters. Was a great place for the kids to grow up and to learn respect for wildlife (being a farm boy I was in the closest place to heaven you could find to live in Sg.)
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: Introduction to Wildlife in Singapore

Post by Pal » Thu, 20 Jun 2024 1:18 pm

Sounds like living in a jungle to me 😯

But the rate of urbanisation in Singapore has almost wiped out all these wildlife in Singapore.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Thu, 20 Jun 2024 11:34 am
smoulder wrote:
Wed, 19 Jun 2024 1:51 pm
jalanjalan wrote:
Tue, 18 Jun 2024 11:46 pm


oriental whip snake maybe? I saw one in Sungei Buloh once.
I looked it up and I believe you are right - that seems to be the beautiful green snake that I saw.
I lived off the beaten track In a pre-WWII Black & White in Seletar Camp (end of Jln Kayu) from 1983 till late 1999) It was considered well off the beaten track. I had an endless supply of not often seen critters in my compound at one time or another (several monitor lizards and other assorted lizards, lots of black spitting cobras and occasionally a python and the aforementioned green whip snake (most often found in one of my ornamental trees. Bats by the '000's and flying foxes by the dozens late at night circling a large tree that bore a hard small green fruit (the name of the tree I know but it escapes me now. When NP cut it down it was about 4 stories tall and based on the ring count was well over 120 years old. Anyway, my place was a veritable botanic gardens back in those days. All kinds of critters. Was a great place for the kids to grow up and to learn respect for wildlife (being a farm boy I was in the closest place to heaven you could find to live in Sg.)
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