Author Archives: chloetanyiting

Highlights of the April Love MacRitchie Walk

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Erin showing how to make a windmill using rubber fruit capsules. Photo by Lily Leong.

Toddycats volunteers had a great time guiding members of the public during the Love MacRitchie Walk that was held on 9 Apr 2017. This walk was unusually exciting because we saw many uncommon birds! A film crew from Mediacorp Channel 8 also joined us to shoot a feature on volunteerism in Singapore.

Aside from the usual suspects such as the fungi, figs, dragonflies and spiders, we were especially excited to see some pretty rare birds such as the Siberian blue robin (Larvivora cyane), blue-rumped parrots (Psittinus cyanurus), and chestnut-bellied malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus). The Siberian blue robin is an uncommon winter visitor in Singapore while the rare blue-rumped parrot and uncommon chestnut-bellied malkoha are forest-dependent residents.

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Blue-rumped parrot feeding on starfruit seeds. Photo by Jensen Seah.

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Chestnut-bellied Malkoha. Photo by Chloe Tan.

The film crew from Channel 8 interviewed the volunteers to find out why it is important to protect the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and what drives our passion to help conserve Singapore’s wildlife. Our friend, Teresa Guttensohn from Cicada Tree Eco-Place also joined us to share her story. The crew also interviewed the participants who shared their experience in the forest as well as what they saw and learned.

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A family of participants being interviewed. Photo by Joleen Chan.

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Teresa from Cicada Tree Eco-Place sharing her story. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Catch the Morning Express episode featuring Love MacRitchie on 2 May 2017, 9 am on Channel 8!

See more photos of the walk on Facebook or Flickr.

Open for registration – Love MacRitchie Walks August-September 2016

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The Love MacRitchie Walks in August-September 2016 are now open for registration! Join the NUS Toddycats! in discovering the forest and its amazing wildlife. These guided walks are conducted by volunteers and are free-of-charge! Limited spaces available.

Find out more about the Love MacRitchie Walks here – https://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/love-macritchie-walks/

Highlights of Love MacRitchie Walks by Toddycats, Season 4

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Young and not-so-young participants delight in the forest that is full of surprises!

Between January and May 2015, Toddycats conducted Season 4 of our (almost) fortnightly Love MacRitchie Walks. On these walks at Venus Loop, our guides shared with participants the amazing wildlife that we have in the heart of Singapore, raising awareness about our natural heritage at risk. Love MacRitchie Walks are part of the Love Our MacRitchie Forest movement, which was launched in response to the LTA’s proposal for the new Cross Island MRT Line (CRL) to tunnel under the fragile ecosystem of MacRitchie Forest. This season, 141 participants were treated to a leisurely walk through the rainforest. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers for each walk:

  • 24 Jan – 19 participants, 4 guides (photo album)
  • 7 Feb – 21 participants, 7 guides (photo album)
  • 22 Feb – 27 participants, 8 guides
  • 7 Mar – 16 participants, 8 guides (photo album)
  • 21 Mar – 17 participants, 7 guides
  • 4 Apr – 20 participants, 4 guides (photo album)
  • 2 May (Jane’s Walk) – 21 participants, 7 guides (photo album)

Looking at the feedback that our participants shared, it seems that once again, the cute and cuddly mammals, especially the Malayan colugo (Cynocephalus variegatus) made the deepest impression. Well, that’s hardly surprising because these really weird looking creatures that are so hard to spot are extremely adorable! We managed to spot colugos during most of our walks. And when we got really lucky, we saw two colugos together!

With a young one in tow!

With a young one in tow.

One above the other!

One above the other!

Slender squirrels (Sundasciurus tenuis) also showed up pretty frequently but being the skittish creatures they are, we never really managed to have a good look at it. Not until one was spotted just as we rounded up the 7 Feb walk. It was resting on a branch right where we would usually take our final group photo!

Slender squirrel resting on a branch.

Slender squirrel resting on a branch.

Not forgetting the long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) that showed us just how capable they are of looking for their own food in the forest. So please do not feed the monkeys as this would condition them to approach people, sparking human-wildlife conflict. This was one of the key take-home messages, which was reinforced by the HUGE new sign put up by NParks near the start of the trail!

Long-tailed macaque eating fishtail palm fruits.

Long-tailed macaque eating fishtail palm fruits.

Long-tailed macaque foraging among the leaf litter.

Long-tailed macaque foraging among the leaf litter.

Please do not feed the monkeys!

Stop feeding the monkeys!

The Malayan blue coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatus) appeared on a couple of walks. This species made quite a statement with its flashy colours, warning others that it’s highly venomous. Here’s a video of it slithering across the forest stream! Some of the other reptiles and amphibians we came across include the black-bearded flying dragon (Draco melanopogon), yellow-bellied puddle frog (Occidozyga sumatrana) and American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). The latter SHOULD NOT be found in the forest stream and it is likely to have been released by somebody. This alien species has the potential to outcompete and threaten the survival of our native forest amphibians. With Vesak Day just around the corner, Toddycats with PUB, NParks and other volunteers are conducting Operation No Release to raise awareness about the harm releasing animals into nature areas can inflict.

Black-bearded flying dragon (female).

Black-bearded flying dragon (female).

Juvenile yellow-bellied puddle frog.

Juvenile yellow-bellied puddle frog.

Juvenile American bullfrog, an alien species.

Juvenile American bullfrog, an alien species.

We also saw many birds, including the usual suspects like the greater racket-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus), olive-winged bulbul (Pycnonotus plumosus) and red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus). One of the more unusual sightings was the changeable hawk-eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus), an uncommon resident, perching up high on an Albizia tree. Our sighting of the blue-throated bee-eater (Merops viridis) in April signaled the end of the bird migratory season. The blue-throated bee-eater tends to make a comeback in Singapore when its cousin, the blue-tailed bee-eater (Merops philippinus), a winter visitor, returns to its breeding grounds in the higher latitudes. More on the bee-eater’s migratory behaviour HERE.

Changeable hawk-eagle.

Changeable hawk-eagle.

Blue-throated bee-eater.

Blue-throated bee-eater.

And now for the creepy crawlies a.k.a. arthropods! Where ever we looked, we would spot these little creatures so we hardly ran out of things to talk about. Every little thing in the forest is interesting. You just need to look closely!

A mating pair of grasshoppers.

A mating pair of grasshoppers.

A green jumping spider!

A green jumping spider!

Flower chafer beetle (Taniodera monacha).

Flower chafer beetle (Taniodera monacha).

Millipede on a bracket fungus.

Millipede on a bracket fungus.

What did these two young men spot?

What did these two young men spot?

A bright red net-winged beetle (Taphes brevicollis)!

A bright red net-winged beetle (Taphes brevicollis)!

Heartgaster ants milking honey dew from scale insects under a common mahang leaf. Tripartite symbiosis in action!

Heartgaster ants milking honey dew from scale insects under a common mahang leaf. Tripartite symbiosis in action!

Just a few of the butterflies we came across.

Just a few of the butterflies we came across.

The butterflies got this girl all excited!

The butterflies got this girl all excited!

Over these few months, we witnessed some changes in and around the forest at Venus Loop. Across the stream from the trail, we saw bulldozers and some new tree saplings. The area is to become the new Windsor Nature Park – one of the four new nature parks that will serve as buffer zones for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR). These buffer zones will help ease visitor numbers within the reserve. The construction works will be completed by end 2016. More information HERE.

Windsor Nature Park under construction.

Windsor Nature Park under construction.

During the final walk on 2 May, we were shocked to see how badly the forest was hit by the previous days’ storms. Several trees were uprooted, including an Albizia tree and a couple of strangling fig trees. The forest here is what we call an edge habitat that is exposed to the elements, making it pretty susceptible. We took the opportunity to talk about the importance of buffer zones like Venus Loop in reducing the exposure of the core forest within CCNR to storms.

First fallen strangling fig.

First fallen strangling fig.

Second fallen strangling fig.

Second fallen strangling fig.

Fallen Albizia that had been sawed into segments by NParks.

Fallen Albizia that had been sawed into segments by NParks.

The Albizia brought down some bamboos with it.

The Albizia brought down some bamboos with it.

To round things up, here are some of the group photos we took at the end of the walks. Up next – Love MacRitchie Walks Season 5 in the second half of 2015! Keep supporting the Love MacRitchie movement to help encourage our government to reconsider the alignment of the CRL through the CCNR.

  1. Follow us on Facebook
  2. Sign the Show of Support – http://tinyurl.com/lta-crl
  3. Tell your friends/family about the Love MacRitchie Walks – http://lovemacritchie.wordpress/love-macritchie-walks
  4. Write in to the government (Land Transport Authority) to voice your concerns about the proposed alignment of CRL
  5. Watch, enjoy and share “Love Our MacRitchie Forest” – Official Music Video, specially produced for this movement – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMKsHZzYMRw

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BirdBlitz – young greenies learn all about birds!

Last Saturday, on 15 Nov 2014, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) was buzzing with the excitement of some 40 young champions of nature and nominees for this year’s Green Carpet Awards (GCA). “BirdBlitz”, organized by World Edu Corp, brought together representatives of the birding community from Nature Society (Singapore) (NSS), Nature Photographic Society, Singapore (NPSS) and NUS to allow the students to experience bird conservation and research, first hand. The NSS birders and their young assistants did a count of migratory birds, NPSS photographers learned about bird behaviour while snapping away, and the NUS researchers hiked through the mangrove forest to understand its ecology, its role as habitat for birds, as well as conservation challenges.

Little binoculars for the little birders!

Little binoculars for the little birders!

Six Toddycats and friends from the department were present for the event – Kok Oi Yee (Toddycats), Alvin Wong (Toddycats), David Tan (Toddycats, Avian Genetics Lab), Keren Sadanandan (RA, Avian Genetics Lab), Chloe Tan (Toddycats, RA, Applied Plant Ecology Lab), Vivien Lee (RA, Applied Plant Ecology Lab). Ng Wen Qing from the Freshwater and Invasion Biology Lab was unwell to join us.

David, Keren, Vivien and Alvin all ready for action.

David, Keren, Vivien and Alvin all ready for action!

Oi Yee and Alvin starting the ball rolling.

Oi Yee and Alvin starting the ball rolling.

The young researchers were just getting acquainted with their new binoculars when our first bird sighting for the day – a noisy White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus), sent them peering across the pond.

"I see it, I see it!"

“I see it, I see it!”

White-breasted Waterhen.

White-breasted Waterhen.

When we ventured onto the Main Bridge, the students could barely contain their excitement with all the birds flying around and fishes swimming under the bridge. Here, they tried their hands at identifying shorebirds (very challenging!) for the first time, using the field guide issued by the organizers. We also spent some time orientating them and explaining how SBWR’s geographical position on the northern coast of Singapore contributes to the habitat here. Some of the students were surprised at how narrow the Johor Strait is, such that they could see Johor Bahru from here! Singapore is also part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, one of the major flyways of the world, which birds use to travel from their breeding grounds in the higher latitudes to their wintering grounds here in the tropics and southern hemisphere. SBWR lies along this flyway, serving as a crucial feeding and resting stop for migrating birds.

"What bird is that?"

“What bird is that?”

"I think it's a Great Egret!"

“I think it’s a Great Egret!”

Halfbeaks.

Halfbeaks under the Main Bridge.

Things got even more exciting when we approached the mudflats – the perfect stage for students to learn how the diversity in form of the birds (e.g. bill and leg length) allows different species to come together to feed in the same place. Using Alvin’s drinking straw analogy, if you have a short straw you can only drink the foam of your Coke; if you have a longer straw, you can drink from deeper in the cup. Here, we saw several species of migratory shorebirds including the Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos) and Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus). A Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) was also seen hunting for fish. David intrigued the older students when he shared about the hybridization between Milky and Painted Storks, both of which are free-ranging birds from the zoo or bird park. Of course, he also went on to talk about how he has been collecting samples from birds, dead or alive, for genetic studies.

Common Sandpiper.

Common Sandpiper.

Whimbrels.

Whimbrels.

Milky Stork.

Milky Stork.

David sharing how to tell if a stork is a hybrid.

David sharing how to tell if a stork is a hybrid.

David showing a picture of a  dead Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) he recently collected.

David showing a picture of a dead Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) he recently collected.

Further along the trail, we touched on the various aspects of mangrove ecology. The Sea Hibiscus (Talipariti tiliaceum) with its distinctive leaf shape and symbiotic relationship with ants left a strong impression among the students. They whipped out their smartphones synchronously when we spotted some other critters like a mating pair of stink bugs, St. Andrew’s cross spiders, Plantain Squirrels (Callosciurus notatus) and Malayan Water Monitors (Varanus salvator)!

Alvin talking about the Sea Hibiscus

Alvin talking about the Sea Hibiscus

A mating pair of stink bugs.

A mating pair of stink bugs.

St. Andrew's cross spider.

St. Andrew’s cross spider.

Plantain Squirrel holding a twig, possibly to build its nest.

Plantain Squirrel holding a twig, possibly to build its nest.

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Malayan Water Monitor

Tuning in to the sounds of the mangrove, Oi Yee took out a canister containing a dead cicada and a molt, fascinating us all!

Oi Yee with her cicada specimens.

Oi Yee with her cicada specimens.

The mangrove may seem well and alive, but it is constantly under threat by human impacts such as littering and high boat traffic that hastens erosion. We saw a Rhizophora tree that had fallen, despite its well-developed network of prop roots.

A discarded styrofoam box.

A discarded styrofoam box.

A fallen Rhizophora tree demonstrates the damage caused by erosion.

A fallen Rhizophora tree demonstrated the damage caused by erosion.

As biologists, one of our objectives for the event was to show the young ones how scientific studies on wildlife are conducted. We came across a camera trap along the trail and explained to the curious kids how the device is useful for studying mammals. Turning back from Platform 1, we noticed an unusual bunch of sticks tied to a tree. Upon a closer look, there was a tag which read “Research in progress. DO NOT DISTURB”, and the name of our colleague from the department who studies bees. Eunice Soh must have installed this stick nest to study the bees in the Reserve!

You shoot me, I shoot you!

You shoot me, I shoot you! Little Christine taking a photo of a camera trap.

A stick nest bundle used for bee research.

A stick nest bundle used for bee research.

One of the major threats to conservation is habitat modification by humans. SBWR was largely used for prawn farming in the past, and the sluice gates enclosing the mudflats are an evidence of its history. Oi Yee showed us how the sluice gates can be operated to control water level in the prawn ponds. Now that the area has been returned to nature, these gates are used still used to control water levels. For example, water can be kept out of the ponds even during high tide to allow migratory shorebirds to feed on the mudflats.

Oi Yee explaining how the sluice gate works.

Oi Yee explaining how the sluice gate works.

On the way back to the visitor centre, many other creatures made their appearance. There were a Little Heron (Butorides striata), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), mudskippers and crabs.

A Little Heron ready to snag its prey.

A Little Heron ready to snag its prey.

Little Egret.

Little Egret.

Mudskipper.

A mudskipper.

A crab.

A crab.

Back at the visitor centre, the students gathered to complete their handouts, putting together what they had learned during the walk.

Completing their handouts with the help of the guides.

Completing their handouts with the help of the guides.

Sea Hibiscus!

Sea Hibiscus!

Rounding off the event were two prominent figures from National Geographic – Dr. Greg Marshall, a Nat Geo Fellow, and Dr. Francis Downey, Vice-president and Publisher of Nat Geo Learning. The biologists in us related well with Dr. Marshall, who invented Crittercam, as he shared about his past work and upcoming project on cheetahs in Botswana!

The guides chatting with Dr. Greg Marshall (in white) and Dr. Francis Downey (in black).

The guides chatting with Dr. Greg Marshall (in white) and Dr. Francis Downey (in black).

A couple of the young environmental advocates attended a press conference on Monday (17 Nov 2014) to share their experiences during this programme. We hope that they are inspired to keep up their good work as voices for nature!

Researchers and their apprentices.

Researchers and their apprentices.

Group photo with the NSS and NPSS teams.

Group photo with the NSS and NPSS teams.

Highlights of Love MacRitchie Walks by Toddycats, Season 3

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“What’s that bird?” Toddycats and Love MacRitchie Walk participants at Venus Loop.

Toddycats wrapped up this season’s Love MacRitchie Walks on 25 Oct 2014 with the semester at NUS drawing to a close. And what a fantastic season it was! Over the six walks from August to October, we took 126 participants to Venus Loop forest. A big thank you to all guides and participants! Additionally, we also helped a bunch of BES Drongos get started with their Petai Trail walks (they have five walks from October to November).

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers for each walk:

  • 10 Aug – 17 participants, 6 guides
  • 30 Aug  – 17 participants, 6 guides
  • 14 Sep – 31 participants, 7 guides (photo album)
  • 27 Sep – 21 participants, 6 guides
  • 11 Oct – 24 participants, 9 guides
  • 25 Oct – 16 participants, 8 guides (photo album)

Each walk was a unique experience, with the new friends we make and the different animals making appearances. As always, the forest was full of surprises.

Perhaps the most exciting sighting of the season was the Haas’s Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis Haasi), the rarest of bronzebacks! A record of this sighting was submitted to the Singapore Biodiversity Records and published HERE. On that same lucky day, we also saw a large White-bellied Rat Snake (Pytas fusca). Both species tend to occur in densely forested habitats, and can only be found in the Central Nature Reserves! Participants young and old learned that snakes aren’t all that fearsome, and are actually beautiful creatures when observed from a safe distance.

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Haas’s Bronzeback.

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White-bellied Rat Snake.

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Observing a snake from a safe distance.

Other reptiles and amphibians we saw include the Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus), Many-lined Sun Skinks (Eutropis multifasciata), flying dragons (a.k.a. gliding lizards; Draco spp.), and Copper-cheeked Frog (Hydrophylax raniceps).

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Clouded Monitor basking on a tree trunk.

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Many-lined Sun Skink basking on a log.

Black-bearded Flying Dragon. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Black-bearded Flying Dragon.

Common Flying Dragon displaying its throat flap. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Common Flying Dragon displaying its throat flap.

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Copper-cheeked Frog resting on dumbcane leaf.

During the practice run with the BES Drongos at Petai Trail, we also spotted two magnificent snakes in a day – the highly venomous Malayan Blue Coral Snake (Calliophis bivirgatus) and Wagler’s Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri). Head over to their website to see other exciting critters they have spotted on their walks!

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Malayan Blue Coral Snake.

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Wagler’s Pit Viper.

The reptiles and amphibians never fail to amaze the participants, most of whom have never seen creatures like these outside of zoos. But those who got extremely lucky and spotted mammals like the Colugo (Galeopterus variegatus), Slender Squirrel (Sundasciurus tenuis) and Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) were left no less awed. The colugo featured below looks to be a juvenile, indicating that the population at Venus Loop is likely to be doing well – a testament to the importance of our reserves for forest-dependent wildlife.

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A young colugo. Photos by Sean Yap.

When our familiar furry friend, the Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), showed up on a few occasions, they also taught the participants another important lesson – Never feed or tempt them with food, or litter in the forest.

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A long-tailed Macaque that found a food wrapper.

Speaking of the macaques, Greater Racket-tailed Drongos (Dicrurus paradiseus) were sometimes seen following the primates as they usually do, foraging for insects that had been stirred up. One of the usual suspects spotted during our walks, these birds are always a joy to observe with their graceful long tails and mesmerizing calls. The forest is also home to several bird species that are more shy, such as the Olive-winged Bulbuls (Pycnonotus plumosus), that were only seen by the more keen-eyed people.

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Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.

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Olive-winged Bulbul.

Bugs and more bugs! When the vertebrates were not showing themselves, we were similarly entertained by the creepy crawlies that were all around. Dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, robberflies, tiger beetles, spiders, cicadas, caterpillars… You name it.

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A pair of Shorttail Damselflies (Onychargia atrocyana) mating.

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Tiger Beetle.

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Striped Blue Crow (Euploea mulciber mulciber).

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Robberfly.

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Cicada caught in a spider web.

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Common Flangetail (Ictinogomphus decoratus).

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A fruit-piercing moth caterpillar.

St. Andrew's cross spider.

St. Andrew’s cross spider.

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A participant with a hammerhead flatworm. Photo by Katie Tan.

And let’s not forget about the plants, shall we? Our guides also shared stories about interesting plants along the entire trail, including a “scorpion tree” where scorpions can usually be seen at night, the Common Mahang (Macaranga bancana) and its inseparable relationship with ants, fig trees with fig wasps, etc. But our stories about plants are not all merry. There are alien plants that have invaded our forests and are causing quite a bit of trouble, like the Zanzibar Yam (Dioscorea zanzibarensis).

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Samuel Tan on the “scorpion tree”.

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Lim Zong Xian on the Common Mahang.

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Figs!

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Zanzibar Yam. Photo by Claudia Tan.

Toddycats also supported the BES Drongos, a bunch of undergraduates from the NUS Bachelor of Environmental Studies, during the preparations for their public walks at Petai Trail. With the aim of taking the Love Our MacRitchie Forest movement a step further, and to take members of the public deeper into the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, the Drongos have since conducted three walks, with two upcoming ones in November. Congratulations and well done, Drongos!

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BES Drongos honing their guiding skills.

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The Drongos soaked a seed of the Cheng Tng Tree in water to show how the familiar brown jelly is made!

To round things up, here are a few of the group photos we took at the end of the walks. Full of happy faces! Look out for our fourth season of walks in the first half of 2015. Till then, keep supporting the Love MacRitchie movement and help encourage our government to reconsider the alignment of the Cross Island MRT Line (CRL) through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

  1. Follow us on Facebook
  2. Sign the Show of Support – http://tinyurl.com/lta-crl
  3. Tell your friends/family about the Love MacRitchie Walks – http://lovemacritchie.wordpress/love-macritchie-walks
  4. Write in to the government (Land Transport Authority) to voice your concerns about the proposed alignment of CRL
  5. Watch, enjoy and share “Love Our MacRitchie Forest” – Official Music Video, specially produced for this movement – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMKsHZzYMRw

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First Love MacRitchie Walk of the season, and more to come!

On 10 August 2014, six Toddycats brought 17 participants to Venus Loop for the first Love MacRitchie Walk of this season. What a great way to celebrate Singapore’s birthday, seeing and learning about wildlife in our very own rainforest!

And into the forest we go! Sankar sharing about the fishtail palm.

And into the forest we go! Sankar sharing about the fishtail palm. Photo by Chloe Tan.

With the cosy group size and sharp-eyed participants, many forest critters made their appearances. Amongst them were the usual suspects like the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) and the fungus beetles.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Fungus beetle. Photo by Claudia Tan.

Fungus beetle. Photo by Claudia Tan.

We were also extremely fortunate to see and learn about many dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies, thanks to nature enthusiast Lena Chow who has a profound ability to spot them and very kindly shared her knowledge. The Toddycats learned a lot from her that day too!

Immature male and female Common Parasols (Neurothemis fluctuans), Dark-tipped Forest Skimer (Cratilla metallica), Treehugger (Tyriobapta torrida), Blue Sprite (Pseudagrion microcephalum) and Ornate Coraltail (Ceriagrion cerinorubellum).

Immature male and female Common Parasols (Neurothemis fluctuans), Dark-tipped Forest Skimer (Cratilla metallica), Treehugger (Tyriobapta torrida), Blue Sprite (Pseudagrion microcephalum) and Ornate Coraltail (Ceriagrion cerinorubellum). Photos by Chloe Tan

Branded Imperial (Eooxilides tharis distanti), bush brown (Mycalesis sp.) and Striped Blue Crow (Euploea mulciber mulciber). Photos by Chloe Tan and Claudia Tan.

Branded Imperial (Eooxilides tharis distanti), bush brown (Mycalesis sp.) and Striped Blue Crow (Euploea mulciber mulciber). Photos by Chloe Tan and Claudia Tan.

That’s not all! We also saw some of the rarer vertebrates like the Copper-cheeked Frog (Hydrophylax raniceps), which was perching quietly on a dumbcane leaf by the forest stream, as well as the Black-bearded Flying Dragon (Draco melanopogon) that glided right past us and landed on a tree near the trail!

Copper-cheeked Frog. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Copper-cheeked Frog. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Black-bearded Flying Dragon. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Black-bearded Flying Dragon. Photo by Chloe Tan.

Our national bird, the Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) also made an appearance, flitting around and showing off its magnificent plumage. You can just imagine the delight on all our faces then!

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On behalf of MacRitchie Forest, we thank all participants for attending this enjoyable walk, and for making a stand to support the re-routing of the Cross Island MRT Line. See more photos from this walk – https://www.flickr.com/photos/habitatnews/sets/72157646067977917/

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Group photo 1! Photo by Claudia Tan.

Group photo 2! Photo by Chloe Tan.

Group photo 2! Photo by Chloe Tan.

Want to see for yourself the wonders of the forest? We have more walks open for registration now! Spread the good news, and see you at Venus Loop!

For more information on Love MacRitchie Walks, visit http://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/love-macritchie-walks

Upcoming Love MacRitchie Walks by Toddycats in July-October 2014!

Love MacRitchie Walks by Toddycats poster

Toddycats, the volunteers of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, are back in action with a new season of Love MacRitchie Walks!

Upcoming walks:

  • 27 Jul 2014 (Sunday) – FULLY SUBSCRIBED.
  • 30 Aug 2014 (Saturday) – FULLY SUBSCRIBED.
  • 13 Sep 2014 (Saturday) – Details coming soon.
  • 27 Sep 2014 (Saturday) – Details coming soon.
  • 11 Oct 2014 (Saturday) – Details coming soon.
  • 25 Oct 2014 (Saturday) – Details coming soon.

Each walk can accommodate 25-35 participants, depending on the number of Toddycat guides available. Walks will be held at Venus Loop. Find out more about this lovely forest trail.

Since Oct 2013, Toddycats have conducted nine public walks, reaching out to a total of 197 participants thus far. This season, in the second half of 2014, the six planned walks will take up to 210 more people into MacRitchie Forest to experience its rich biodiversity!

Trained guides tell stories of the forest. Photo by David Teng.

Trained guides tell stories of the forest. Photo by David Teng.

Your participation will help to encourage our Government to consider alternative routes to the Cross Island MRT Line (CRL), which is proposed to tunnel through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Come for a walk and join us in protecting our natural heritage.

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If you would like to contribute to raising awareness about the Love Our MacRitchie Forest movement, drop Chloe Tan (Project Manager) an email at chloetanyiting@gmail.com.

Spread the news and see you at Venus Loop!

http://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/love-macritchie-walks