Saturday, September 5, 2015

School's out! with the Naked Hermit Crabs

Despite the haze and a light drizzle, we had a record-breaking 108 participants at our Pasir Ris mangrove walk today! As usual, the mangroves did not disappoint and it was a great walk as the participants got to see many creatures such as the Buffy Fish owl, jellyfishes, monitor lizards, dog-faced water snakes and weaver ants at work.

Eager participants registering for the walk!

One of our guides, Becky, introducing herself to the group.

Next, we had Pei Yan telling her group about the Naked Hermit Crabs!
After splitting our participants into 7 groups, our guides gave a brief background on the history of the Naked Hermit Crabs and why we aim to protect our shores in danger. Soon after, the groups got to see weaver ants in action. This ants have an unique nest building behaviour where workers build nests by weaving leaves together using silk from the ant larvae.

Weaver ants working together to build a nest.

The kids finally saw the little cicada that was making so much noise.

A Malayan water monitor lizard.
Our participants saw both adult and juvenile monitor lizards and learnt how great of a swimmer and scavenger these creatures are.

A dog-faced water snake, one of the residents of the mangroves.
Active during the night, these nocturnal water snakes hunt fish.

Andy sharing a photo of the Buffy Fish Owl that was hard to spot from a distance!

Yet another resident - The Buffy Fish Owl
The Buffy fish owl was a first for many, including some of the guides. We got to see the owl resting and waking up to groom its feathers as the sun started to set.

Most of the kids got a chance to look at the owl, one way or another.

Spotting a monitor lizard on a tree.

This was what everyone was looking at - A juvenile monitor lizard getting comfortable in a tree hole.

"I think I should have eaten less fish today. I hope I can fit in this tree hole." 

Mission accomplished! Time for a nap.
Most juvenile monitor lizards are known for their agility when it comes to climbing trees and seek protection from predators on trees or in tree holes.

Drawing time!
At the end of the walk, we had our drawing session at the Jetty alongside Sungei Tampines and the jellyfishes that were bobbing in the water.
Just one of the many jellyfishes that were swimming by!

Beautiful drawing of jellyfishes.

The jellyfish was a hot favourite.

Jellyfishes (or plastic bags)?
A reminder that plastic bags can look like jellyfishes and this means that marine predators of jellyfishes (such as the sea turtle) can be harmed through accidental ingestion of plastic bags.

Great drawing of a jellyfish and an owl!

He drew everything that he saw!

We thank all the participants for making the walk a success! For those who have missed out on this walk, look out for our next Pasir Ris mangrove walk in December!

Thanks go out to our volunteers today - Sumita, Tim, Becky, PY, Ian, LK and Ria. Andy came to help us spot lots of animals too.

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