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).
As 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.
Green spaces have been shown to improve overall air quality . 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!
 – 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>