NParks Spotlight: Creatures of the Night

It blows my mind sometimes that Singapore has such a diverse range of animals, due to Singapore naturally being a bustling city as well as having a clean, green environment. Hence, I wanted to attend this talk in the hopes of getting to know these animals. The Creatures of the Night gave me insights to a vast number of animals we rarely see. The talk started off with a talk about CYN by Lim Jiang Jim (Group Director, NBC Division) and the main aim of Enriching and Managing Additional nodes of Greenery, Habitat enhancement, Restoration & Species Recovery, Applied Research in Conservation Biology and Planning, as well as Community Stewardship and Outreach in Nature. After that, we dived right into the topic of these wonderful nocturnal creatures by Li Tianjiao (Manager, Biodiversity). I also got to know animal sleeping patterns and 5 different species of mostly nocturnal animals!

I realised that I did not know so much about the Slow Loris, one of the animals featured in this event. For one, I did not know it is the only venomous primate on earth, and we have it right here in Singapore! the Slow Loris is fast being wiped out by illegal poaching and wildlife trade as well as habitat loss, and is locally critically endangered. I’ve learnt that even harvesting plants/plant parts is a strict no-no for the Singapore community, as it would limit food resources for these animals, and contributes to their dwindling numbers in Singapore.

Even though I’ve heard about the Sunda Pangolin in Singapore, I did not know that their numbers were also being wiped out due to roadkill. It just shocked me that these creatures would come out of the forest in search of food right into the path of a fast-approaching car, as I know these are shy animals. Hence, the insight I’ve gained from this talk is that we can help these animals a lot more than what it seems, and every individual plays a part. One such example would be to be more cautious while driving especially at night, in order to not accidentally hit any passing animal.

One thing I’ve noticed is that all these animals seem to be situated in or around the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, with the obvious reason being it is the largest nature reserve in Singapore, and is home to the one of the only primary forests remaining in Singapore. I was actually supposed to participate in a Slow Loris survey in this catchment, however due to Covid-19, the event was cancelled. However, I am looking forward to surveys done by NParks in hopes to one day spot these nocturnal animals here in Singapore!

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