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!

The tembusu tree can be found on our $5 bills.
Have a $5 note? The tree printed on the back of our $5 note is actually the tembusu tree, which we saw on our way into the mangrove. You can recognise these trees from the deep groves in their barks. The tembusu tree's flowers also release a sweet smell at night time, which attracts insects to help pollinate it.
What an interesting way for a tree to grow!
We also spotted a strangling fig beginning to overtake another tree. True to its name, the strangling fig grows on another tree and begins to wrap around and 'strangle' it as it develops. The host tree eventually dies, leaving a hollow in the middle of the strangling fig.
I see a crab over there!
Along the mangrove boardwalk, you can find several mud lobster mounds, which are home to a variety of small critters. Among them are the tree-climbing crabs, which hide in little holes in the mounds. Bravo to our sharp-eyed visitors who helped to point out the crabs!
How fast can you spot the mudskipper?
Giant mudskippers are also abundant in the Pasir Ris mangroves, but it is still a treat to spot them since their brown colour helps them camouflage and blend in with the mud. These unique fish are able to survive brief periods out of the water, thanks to their cheek pouches which can hold water for them to breathe.
Found something interesting!
As we made our way down the boardwalk, one of our keen-eyed guides from The Wild Side, Weiyang, managed to spot a juvenile shore pit viper! This particular one seemed to have just shed its skin, which is done by snakes as they grow larger.
A juvenile shore pit viper with its shed skin(in white).
The shore pit viper is named for the heat-sensing pits on its face, which it uses to hunt prey. Another cool fact about this snake is that as it gets older, its colour changes from brown to black. Look out for them the next time you visit the mangroves!
The nipah palm grows in mangrove forests.
Our visitors were also interested to see the nipah palm, which grows along the boardwalk. What's so special about this palm? Well, the fruit it produces is actually the source of attap chee, a delicious treat we can find topping our ice kachang!
A juvenile water monitor.
Near the end of the walk, we also managed to find a juvenile water monitor, which was a hit with the kids. These reptiles feed on fish and small animals, and are able to swim quite well.
The end of a wonderful walk!
We ended our walk with a kids' drawing session, where the children drew many wonderful drawings of our wild encounters. Great job, everyone!

A big thank you to our volunteer guides Abel, Keesha, Lydia, Nicole, Weiyang and Freda from The Wild Side; Ivan from Nature Adventures SG; and Ria, Dayna, Yong Jen, Dhivya and Chen Xi from the Naked Hermit Crabs, all of whom made this walk possible! Thanks also to all the visitors who joined us for this walk! It was a pleasure to have you come along with us for our trip, and we hope to see you again!

No comments:

Post a Comment