Monday, September 4, 2017

Here there be serpents: Pasir Ris Mangroves

We were very happy to welcome about 70 visitors for our latest walk! Many had never been to the mangroves of Pasir Ris Park, which are in fact the most easily accessible of our remaining mangrove forests. Thanks to the eagle-eyed spotting of one of our guides, they got to see the elusive Shore Pit Viper (Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus) on their very first visit! The Shore Pit Viper is an ambush predator, sitting camouflaged in one spot for days at a time for prey to pass by before striking with lightning speed. It's deadly venom quickly immobilises small animals like rodents, birds, and lizards. Although it is dangerous if provoked, it was perched safely far away from the boardwalk so our visitors could observe it with no worries. 
Photo by Lim Yi He

Photo by Lim Yi He
There were also many Giant Mudskippers (Periophtalmodon schlosseri) about, guarding the "swimming pools" they dig for themselves to rest in at low tide. This provides them with a steady source of oxygen as well as a burrow which they can hide in if a predator appears.
Photo by Lim Yi He

A small nest of honeybees was also present in the mangroves. These insects are important pollinators for many plants in the mangroves and will not attack unless first provoked.
Photo by Lim Yi He

Many different species of snail live amongst the mud. One such snail is the Belongkeng (Ellobium scheepmakeri), also known as the Mangrove Land Snail, which feeds on algae. This is now critically endangered in Singapore due to habitat loss and past overcollection for food.

Photo by Lim Yi He
No walk in Pasir Ris would be complete without a sighting of a Malayan Water Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator)! There were many of them spotted on our walk clinging onto tree branches as they prepared to turn in for the night. Often misidentified as their close relatives the Komodo Dragons, they feed mainly on carrion and small animals and pose no danger to humans if left alone. In other countries where they are hunted, they can be hard to spot, but here in Singapore we are blessed to be able to see them up close!

If you couldn't make it for our walk this time, fear not! Keep a look out for our next walk coming in October, like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Naked-Hermit-Crabs-1825391097477979/ and share about us with you friends! We hope to see you soon!
At the end of the walk, the kids draw what they've seen!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

3 Sep (Sun) - Free guided walk at Pasir Ris Mangroves

The one-week school break in September is coming up, and the Naked Hermit Crabs are specially organising a very special nature walk at Pasir Ris Mangroves for young families on 3 September, Sunday. This is a FREE nature walk on the mangrove boardwalk at Pasir Ris Park.

Sign up now on our online registration form! Don't miss the opportunity to see some wildlife in action! Pasir Ris Mangroves is conveniently located 10 minutes away from Pasir Ris MRT station. We only do Pasir Ris Mangroves a couple of times in a year, so don't miss this opportunity!



There are many creatures look out for in the mangroves, such as mudskippers, tree-climbing crabs, snails, herons and monitor lizards. The best part of the nature walk is at the end when we get to the small jetty over the river. There is a lot of animal activity in the evenings. We have seen young monitor lizards crawling into their nests as they settle in before nightfall.  Sometimes, you may even spot kingfishers, jellyfishes and water snakes! It really is quite exciting for the children to be able to see these animals in the wild.

Date: 3 September, 2017 (Sunday)
Time: 5 pm (We should end around 6.30pm, just before sunset.)
Meeting point: Pasir Ris Park, Carpark C.

Sign up here.



Meet near the first toilets nearest the entrance to Carpark C. The meeting point is a short stroll from the Pasir Ris MRT station. Pasir Ris Park is a very long park with many carparks (from A to D). Do look at the map to be sure you are heading for the correct carpark.



Do read on for more information about our FAQs and what you can expect to see!


Sunday, August 6, 2017

19-Aug-17 (Sat) - Free guided walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk

Hi everyone! We are back with our regular Chek Jawa Boardwalk outing on 19 August, Saturday. Come explore this very special and beautiful corner of Singapore mangroves with us. Just gather your family and friends, and have someone do the signup on behalf of the group. Best of all, this nature walk is free! Click on our Online Registration Form.

Chek Jawa is rich in biodiversity, and with the help of an experienced volunteer guide, you should be able to see lots of interesting plants and wildlife. Even though we are not going on to the shore, there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boar, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth.

Date: 19 August 2017 (Saturday)
Meeting place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk, Pulau Ubin
Meeting time: 9:30 am
Duration of walk: 2 hours
Fees: No charge for now, but small donations are accepted

For more information on what to expect at our Chek Jawa Boardwalk outings, and when preparing for your visit, please make sure you read our post specially written for you.




More photos in the next section.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Celebrating Youth Day at the Pasir Ris Mangroves!

We are happy to have had 37 visitors join us at the Pasir Ris Mangroves for our Youth Day Walk, held in collaboration with The Wild Side and Nature Adventures SG.
You learn something new every day!
Soon after the walk began, we came upon many white mushrooms growing along the base of a tree. Our visitors were surprised to learn that the part of the mushrooms we see above ground are only the fruiting bodies, while the main body of the mushroom is mostly underground!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

1 July (Sat) - Free guided walk at the Pasir Ris Mangroves

Specially for kids and families, come and explore the Pasir Ris mangroves with volunteer nature guides! This youth day, the Naked Hermit Crabs will be collaborating with Nature Adventures SG and The Wild Side to bring you on this FREE guided tour of the boardwalk!
Pasir Ris Mangrove boardwalk tour with the Naked Hermit Crabs
Sign up now on our online registration form! Don't miss the opportunity to see some wildlife in action! Pasir Ris mangroves is conveniently located 10 minutes away from Pasir Ris MRT station. Bring your children down to enjoy nature during the weekend!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Having a blast at Balik Chek Jawa!

As part of Pesta Ubin, we are glad to celebrate Chek Jawa Open house on 3 Jun (Sat), where volunteers from many groups came together to share about the beauty of Chek Jawa to about 700 visitors in total!
Love Chek Jawa!
Photo by Ria Tan
The activity is by the Chek Jawa community, led by the Naked Hermit Crabs with friends of Chek Jawa like NParks Chek Jawa volunteers, TeamSeagrass, Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M) Initiative, NUS Toddycats. We even had some amazing volunteers from the public join us to help make Balik Chek Jawa a success!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

3 Jun, 2017 (Sat): Balik Chek Jawa with the Chek Jawa community

FREE, no registration required, just come to Chek Jawa! Volunteer guides will be stationed all over the boardwalk to share about Chek Jawa's amazing wildlife. From monkeys to wild boar, birds to butterflies, crabs to mudskippers, and fascinating plants of the mangroves and shores, some of which are rare elsewhere. If we are lucky we may encounter otters or even a dugong.

A spectacular view from Jejawi Tower
Date: 3 Jun, 2017 (Sat)
Time: 10am - 3pm
Meeting point: Chek Jawa Info Kiosk, 3.3km away from Ubin Jetty (map). About 1.5-2 hour walk or a 15-min van ride. More on how to get to Chek Jawa.

No charge, the activity is free!
No registration required, simply come to Chek Jawa.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Adventures with new friends!

Balik Chek Jawa (a FREE Chek Jawa open House) is coming up soon, and we are happy to have a group of 27 amazing volunteers join us for our Chek Jawa familiarisation tour to be nature guides for the event!
A whole bunch of new friends!
Photo by Ria Tan

Saturday, April 29, 2017

21 May (Sun)- Want to learn how to be a nature guide? Come join the Chek Jawa Familiarisation Tour with the Naked Hermit Crabs!

Have you ever wanted to experience what it’s like to be a nature guide? Looking for an interesting activity for your family to take part in during the holidays? The Chek Jawa Familiarisation Tour is here for you! No prior experience is needed. Sign up now at our online form! After you have completed the Familiarisation Tour on 21 May, you will be able to participate as a volunteer at the Balik Chek Jawa Day on 3 June. Come join us and make a difference for nature!

Join us to help make a difference for nature!
What is this Familiarisation Tour about? 
To help prepare you to contribute to Balik Chek Jawa, this tour introduces you Chek Jawa and hopes to build your confidence to share at one station of your choice along the boardwalk. 
It is also a chance to interact with like-minded people and more experienced nature guides while coming up with new and exciting ways to share about our shores. The tour will take you around the Chek Jawa coastal and mangrove boardwalk.

Why should I join this familiarisation tour?
By joining this FREE tour, you will not only learn about the wildlife at Chek Jawa, but also have a chance to contribute to Balik Chek Jawa by learning how to be a nature guide! 
Date: 21 May (Sun)
Time: 8.00 am-12 noon
(More details will be provided to those who register)
Click here to sign up!
Registration closes on 17 May 2017

Continue reading for more information on what you can learn, and who is eligible to join the tour!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

An otterly wonderful walk at the Pasir Ris Mangroves

It’s been quite a while since our last walk at the Pasir Ris Mangroves, and we are glad to have 57 visitors join us for the long Easter weekend!

A little rain won't stop us!

After a quick introduction, we split into four groups, each led by our volunteer guides. It had begun to drizzle when the walk began, but luckily for us, the rain only lasted for a while, and we were able to resume the walk after a short wait.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

15 April (Sat) - Free guided walk at the Pasir Ris Mangroves

Specially for kids and families, explore Pasir Ris mangroves with volunteer nature guides from the Naked Hermit Crabs on this FREE guided tour of the boardwalk!
Families at Pasir Ris mangrove boardwalk

Sign up now on our online registration form! Don't miss the opportunity to see some wildlife in action! Pasir Ris mangroves is conveniently located 10 minutes away from Pasir Ris MRT station. Bring your children down to enjoy nature during the weekend!
Giant mudskippers are a common sight in our mangroves!
There are many creatures look out for in the mangroves, such as mudskippers, tree-climbing crabs, herons and monitor lizards. Sometimes, you may even spot kingfishers and water snakes! It will certainly be an unforgettable experience with your friends and family!

Date: 15 April, 2017 (Saturday)
Time: 5 pm (We should end around 6.30pm, just before sunset.)
Meeting point: Pasir Ris Park, Carpark C.

Sign up here.

Meet near the first toilets nearest the entrance to Carpark C. The meeting point is a short stroll from the Pasir Ris MRT station. Pasir Ris Park is a very long park with many carparks (from A to D). Do look at the map to be sure you are heading for the correct carpark.

Please sign up for the walk at our Online Registration Form. We look forward to seeing you there!

Do read on for more information about our FAQs and what you can expect to see!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Jelly Good Time with the Naked Hermit Crabs!

The March holidays are here, and we are glad to have a group of 44 visitors join us for our monthly Chek Jawa Walk!
Say Cheese!
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
After a quick briefing, we split into four groups and set off to explore! Each group was led by one of our four guides, Ria, Dayna, Sumita, and Ian.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

18-Mar-17 (Sat) - Free guided walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk

Hi there! It is the March school holidays and we have a free Chek Jawa nature outing on the boardwalk this coming Saturday, 18 March. We still have about 20 places available for sign-ups. To sign up, do so at our Online Registration Form

Chek Jawa is rich in biodiversity, and with the help of an experienced volunteer guide, you should be able to see lots of interesting plants and wildlife. Even though we are not going on to the shore, there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boar, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth.

Date: 18 March 2017 (Saturday)
Meeting place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk, Pulau Ubin
Meeting time: 9:30 am
Duration of walk: 2 hours
Fees: No charge for now, but small donations are accepted

More information can be found in this link.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

25-Feb-17 (Sat) - Free guided walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk

Come and join us for our Chek Jawa Boardwalk outing next Saturday, 25 Feb, 2017. We have about 20 places available. Don't miss this chance to explore Chek Jawa with the Naked Hermit Crabs!

Chek Jawa is rich in biodiversity, and with the help of an experienced volunteer guide, you should be able to see lots of interesting plants and wildlife. Even though we are not going on to the shore, there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boar, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth.

Sign up at our Online Registration Form.

Date: 25 February 2017 (Saturday)
Meeting place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk, Pulau Ubin
Meeting time: 9:30 am
Duration of walk: 2 hours
Fees: No charge for now, but small donations are accepted

Coastal boardwalk

Mangrove Boardwalk
Click here to find out more about preparing for a Chek Jawa outing with the Naked Hermit Crabs.

Friday, February 17, 2017

What to expect during a Chek Jawa Boardwalk outing with the Crabs

Here's some useful information about our Chek Jawa Boardwalk nature outings.

Naked Hermit Crabs is a small and informal group of volunteers who have been conducting free nature walks at Chek Jawa and Pasir Ris Mangroves since Sep 2007. We want to raise public awareness of the rich biodiversity and fragile coastal ecosystems found in these nature places.

Even though we are not going down to the shore (yes, the nature walk is conducted on the boardwalk), there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boar, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth.


During these walks, we will meet and greet you at the Chek Jawa Information Kiosk. Our visitors are split into groups of around 10 to 20 people, led by a volunteer guide. Each group will proceed to explore the mangroves followed by the coastal area, before ending the walk at the English Cottage. We usually end the walk with a short drawing session to allow the kids (and grown-ups too) to express their thoughts about the trip.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

2017 schedule - Naked Hermit Crabs turn 10!

We are turning 10 this year! 10 years of bringing you the fun and FREE nature walks at Chek Jawa Boardwalk and Pasir Ris Mangroves. We couldn't have done this without the constant support and encouragement of our visitors. Sometimes we felt like giving up, and sometimes we went slow to give ourselves some rest. But we're still here, and we hope we have done a little for the ground-up conservation efforts of our nature places in Singapore, especially for threatened natural shores such as Chek Jawa.

It gives us much joy to share what we know about the plants and animals that live in the fragile coastal ecosystems of Chek Jawa and Pasir Ris Mangroves. Sign up for our walks and get to know Singapore's own biodiversity from volunteers who care about such things.

Here is our schedule for 2017. All walks are held at Chek Jawa Boardwalk (Pulau Ubin) unless stated otherwise.

25 Feb (Saturday)
18 Mar (Saturday) - school holidays
22 Apr (Saturday) changed to 15 Apr (Saturday) - Pasir Ris Mangroves
20 May (Saturday) we plan to train new guides in May for the Jun Balik Chek Jawa
3 Jun (Saturday) - Balik Chek Jawa. No registration needed. Simply show up at Chek Jawa and we will have guides to show you around.
1 Jul (Saturday) changed to Pasir Ris Mangroves instead of Chek Jawa
19 Aug (Saturday) new date
3 Sep (Sunday) - school holidays - Pasir Ris Mangroves
15 Oct (Sunday)
25 Nov (Saturday) - school holidays
16 Dec (Saturday) - school holidays

Registration for our walks are done online through Google Forms. We open registration one month at a time, as soon as we finish the previous one.

Click here to access the Online Registration Form for Chek Jawa Boardwalk.

This is the normal schedule at each Chek Jawa Boardwalk trip:

Meeting place: Chek Jawa Information Kiosk, Pulau Ubin
Meeting time: 9:30 am
Duration of walk: 2 hours
Fees: No charge for now, but small donations are accepted


If you have any questions, feel free to write to us at nakedhermitcrabs at gmail dot com.

Happy nature exploring!

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