Valentine’s Day Herp Walk

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Image Credit: Kelsie Tan

It was a cool and humid morning on Valentine’s Day. We got a very enthusiastic group coming to our walk at Venus Loop. Upon walking into the trail, we were immediately treated to the sight of a Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) that disappeared into the bushes. The guides talked about how these native lizards face competition from the introduced Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)

 

At the forest edge, we came across four Common Sun Skinks (Eutropis multifasciata) basking in the sunlight that managed to stream past the canopy. Nearby, a troop of monkeys were walking around. It was saddening to see that one was chewing on a piece of plastic bag. Another had lost its leg. It was a reminder that human impact does not end with the people, but also the litter that is left behind. Shirley, one of our participants managed to collect the bag after the monkey dropped it. Along the way, she also picked up other pieces of litter. Bravo!

A short distance away, Jonathan, the lead guide found some mating Fungus Beetle. It was very apt for Valentine’s Day!

As we walked onward from the tree stump, Ing Sind came walking from the other side and said he had spotted a Gold-ringed Cat Snake (Boiga dendrophila)! The entire group walked in an orderly fashion to the snake. There were gasps as the magnificent creature came into view. As pictures were clicked, Sankar talked about the Cat Snakes and ethical herping.

As the group moved on, we saw several Colugos (Galeoptera variegatus) and some Black-bearded Flying Dragons (Draco melanopogon). We even saw a baby Clouded Monitor Lizard (Varanus nebulosus) clinging to some wood. Overall, it was an excellent walk.

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Image Credit: Jonathan Tan

Satisfied by the day’s turnout, we stopped at the exit and talked about the Love MacRitchie Movement and the Cross Island Line. We were very happy that several couples turned up for the walk. For this Valentine’s Day, we urged the participants to spread the love for misunderstood herps and for the MacRitchie Rainforest! Thanks to everyone who came!

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