Saturday, August 03, 2013

Shield bugs, and Monkey and Wild Boar business at Chek Jawa

After a busy series of biodiversity event happening around Singapore in June and July, I am back guiding with the Naked Hermit Crabs at Chek Jawa for the month of August.

As usual, the wild boar troop graciously welcome visitors to Chek Jawa.
Wild boar piglets have grown so big.
Wow! The wild boar piglets have grown so big. I still fondly remember them small and cute with watermelon stripes on their body.
Here is a video of the piglets I took in March this year. (Select HD option to get a clearer video image.)

I had the privilege to have Isabelle, 6, and her mother in my group. Though Isabelle is only 6 years old, she is very sociable and speaks well. She could even manage to get everyone to have a group photo in front of the Chek Jawa gate.
Isabell, 6, gathering everyone for a group photo for her camera.
Joining us on this guided walk are 4 students from RJC and 8 of my students from CHIJ Katong Convent. My students are under my initiation of training program to be a nature guide.

Before the walk began, we took a group photo of all the visitors. The visitor kiosk at Chek Jawa is decorated with banners to celebrate Singapore's National Day!
Group photo
My visitors are rather good at spotting animals, though it took them some time to get use to seeing well camouflaged animals. Some of the animals we saw in the mangrove area are Giant mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri), Tree climbing crab (Episesarma sp.) and Stout pincered fiddler crab.
Giant mudskipper
Tree climbing crab
Stout pincered fiddler crab
Sharp eyed Isabelle could even spot the pretty male magrove dwarf dragonfly. Dragonflies are important in our ecosystem as it helps to control the insect populations such as mosquitos in the environment. They are our natural mosquito controllers.
Mangrove dwarf (male)
Oh look, a bunch of hoya flowers. This bunch of hoya flower has not bloom, and it is my first time noticing the hoya plant at Chek Jawa.
Hoya flower
The group in front of us spotted something very shiny on the underside of a leaf. It is a group of Mangrove stink bugs (Calliphara nobilis) gathering together. 
Mangrove stink bug
They have a pretty golden sheen on their body. Even the underside of the mangrove stink bug is as pretty as the overview.
Mangrove stink bug, underside
As we ended the walk, the NParks staff on duty alerted us to the troop of macaques hanging out near the visitors' kiosk. They are here to feed as there was a fruiting rambutan tree at that spot. It was raining rambutan shells and seeds as the macaques feed on the fruit. A small group of wild boar was also around to feed on the remains on the ground.
Macaque sitting on a log
A young macaque getting close to humans to feed on the grains of the plant.
We were blessed with good weather and great lunch at Ubin town.

Read out the black spitting cobra that Ria and her group saw from her blog post: 

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