The Maiden Walk of the HSS: an afternoon @ Lower Peirce!

On 13 Sep 2015, Sunday, 16 participants joined us for a walk through Lower Peirce to learn about natural heritage, with an emphasis on herptiles in Singapore.

We met our participants opposite Casuarina Curry, and set off in two groups. The first group was led by Jonathan and Becky, and the second led by Sankar and Ing Sind. Throughout our walk, we kept our eyes peeled for herps, while also talking about the native plants in Lower Peirce, such as Senduduk (Melastoma malabathricum) and Tembusu (Cyrtophyllum fragrans). We also chatted about the history of Lower Peirce Reservoir.

Towards the middle, our participants got to witness a beautiful show by the Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus), which flew from branch to branch in front of us and dazzled everyone with its majestic feathers. Treehugger Dragonflies (Tyriobapta torrida) were aplenty, and we all had an enjoyable time watching Slender Squirrels (Sundasciurus tenuis), Plaintain Squirrels (Callosciurus notatus ), and Long-tailed Macaques(Macaca fascicularis).

IMG_6034 img_6044As we reached the reservoir, we were pleasantly surprised by the first herp of the walk! A Common Sun Skink (Eutropis multifasciata) moving about in the leaf litter. These skinks feed on invertebrates, which the leaf litter provides a buffet of. Unfortunately, the first group was unable to see the Malayan Water Monitor (Varanus salvator), which the second group spotted further behind us. Nevertheless, they had a great time looking at the other vertebrates that call Lower Peirce home.

img_6022img_6011Green spaces have been shown to improve overall air quality [1]. This is especially important in recent days, with the haze hitting unhealthy levels. The importance of our nature reserves cannot be understated!

Overall, the walk was a timely reminder of the historical and ecological importance our nature reserves hold to the rich biodiversity and  to us as well. The people of Singapore should appreciate the green spaces and biodiversity that are present in our very backyard!

2015-09-14-21-09-54-2 2015-09-13-16-35-56Thank you to our participants for joining us on our maiden walk, and we look forward to many more walks! We will be posting updates on subsequent walks! So keep your eyes peeled!

REFERENCES
[1] –
Nowak, D., Hirabayashi, S., Bodine, A., & Greenfield, E. (n.d.). Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States.Environmental Pollution, 119-129. <link>

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FREE Guided Herp Walks @ Lower Peirce!

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The Lower Peirce Boardwalk

Registration Link

In an effort to promote an awareness of Singapore’s natural and historical heritage, and to promote conversations amongst Singaporeans, the HSS has begun the Herp Walk @ Lower Peirce. We want to raise awareness, in particular, about Herps! These misunderstood creatures are often thought of as scary or unnecessary. But we want to show Singaporeans that Herps are important and integral to the Singaporean ecosystem!

The first of this series of walks will take place on Sunday 13th September 2015, 3-6PM

So, do come down for a leisurely stroll along the Reservoir. Let the guides regale you with tales about the transformation of the entire area over the years. Learn about this green space that plays home to amazing biodiversity! If you’re lucky, you might get to see some of our scaly friends! Best of all, it’s absolutely free! So don’t wait and register at this link!