Of Vipers and Vivipary

Having had to cut short the previous walk in August due to rain, we were delighted to have clear weather for our latest walk in September, once again at the MacRitchie Treetop Walk! We also welcomed two members of the Little Green Men, Sarah and Frances, to join us on our walk; if you’re interested in making a difference for the environment however you can, try contacting them!

img_3525Even before all our participants had arrived, our dedicated spotter Wei Yang found the first herp of the day: a beautiful Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina)! One of the most commonly sighted snakes in Singapore, it ranges widely into parks and gardens to feed on small lizards like geckoes and skinks. With their brilliant green colour and sinuous bodies, they can be easily mistaken for vines or climbing plant tendrils. Mildly venomous, this snake is harmless to humans though it can bite when provoked. As Sankar explained, they are viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young! The word “viper” in fact is derived from “vivipary”, as vipers are amongst the snakes that have this trait.

©Herpetological Society of Singapore
Say cheese!

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As we trekked deeper into the forest,  several Many-lined Sun Skinks were seen basking in patches of sunlight that managed to penetrate to the understory. We also found many weird and wonderful arthropods, such as the caterpillar above! The fact that it was bristling with spines that may also contain venom would have been difficult to swallow for many a bird. img_3541

We were fortunate to have Sean Yap, a member of the Entomological Network of Singapore (ENSING) as well as HSS, to help us identify these strange critters found swarming about on a wooden railing. Apparently these are barklice (Order Psocoptera); harmless insects that feed on algae, fungi, and dead plant tissue that grow on trees, they help keep them clean of detritus!

img_3543We also stumbled across this cool-looking Flat-backed Millipede (Platyrhacus lineatus) with plates whose edges jutted out from the main body. This makes it difficult for predators to attack its more vulnerable underbelly.

pill-cockroachHerps aren’t the only animals that struggle with an image issue. Cockroaches are often hated for being pests that feed on our trash and spread disease. But our native cockroaches play an important role in the forest by feeding on dead organic matter and speeding up the recycling of nutrients! And some of them can be pretty adorable too, like the Pill Cockroach (Perisphaerus sp.) shown above! Who knew that cute cockroaches were a thing!

img_3552Having already trained their eyes with those small little invertebrates, one sharp-eyed participant spotted this Red-crowned Barbet (Psilopogon rafflesii) on a dead tree trunk! Restricted only to our mature forests, it may have been digging for insects or perhaps building a nest.

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At last, more herps! The Black-bearded Flying Dragon (Draco melanopogon) on the left was showing off its patagium, the flap of skin that allows it to glide between trees! If you look closely, you can see the rib bones that the lizard swings outwards to open up its wingsuit! This individual may have been displaying to another flying dragon to warn it to keep to away from its territory.

The lizard on the right is the elusive Yellow Striped Tree Skink (Lipinia vittigera), courtesy of our veteran elf-eyed spotter, Ing Sind. Small and nimble, it usually hides amongst the roots of epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants, usually trees, such as orchids) or in tree crevices, emerging to feed on small insects. Like many lizards, it is able to drop off its tail when threatened, and this one was in the midst of regenerating it. The tails of lizards often contain important stores of fat and contribute to maintaining its balance, so losing it, while not life-threatening, can be a major blow; so leave lizards alone, lest they inadvertently lose their head and lose their tail!

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While on the Treetop Walk itself, we spotted another species of gliding lizard, the Sumatran Flying Dragon (Draco sumatranus)! This one, probably a male, was flashing its yellow dewlap to warn off other males and perhaps show off to nearby females.

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Viper Number 1

We were lucky to meet not one, put two vipers on this walk! Both were male or possibly juvenile Wagler’s Pit Vipers (Tropidolaemus wagleri), coiled around young tree seedlings along the trail. These are ambush predators, lying in wait for prey such as small mammals and birds to wander past before striking with lightning fast speed and their forward-swinging fangs. With heat-sensitive pits on their snouts and blood-destroying haemotoxin, these are formidable foes to their enemies, and should always be treated with caution. As the vipers were located extremely close to the trail, well within striking distance of unwary hikers, we gently lifted them deeper into the undergrowth with a long stick; this was for their own safety as well as the safety of others.

©Herpetological Society of Singapore
Viper Number 2

img_3113On the way back to the Ranger Station, we came across this blooming Tiger Orchid (Gramatophyllum speciosum)! The largest orchid in the world, it went extinct in the wild in Singapore over a century ago before being reintroduced by NParks in various parts of the island. Each individual plant only blooms every few years, with a massive stalk of up to 80 sweet-smelling flowers. We were fortunate to have come across this specimen while it was flowering.

©Herpetological Society of SingaporeNo Herp Walk is complete without a sighting of at least one monitor lizard, and true enough we found this large Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus) basking in the sun! Unlike their bigger cousins the Malayan Water Monitors, Clouded Monitors are restricted to forests and feed mainly on insects and other arthropods they find by digging amongst leaf litter. The widespread presence of these lizards are a testament to how herps can coexist and thrive peacefully in our city. In fact, just the night before our walk, one of its cousins gained international fame by sprinting across the F1 race track during the qualifying rounds! And although that Water Monitor avoided being turned into a pancake, roadkills of these magnificent creatures are sadly all too common. If you’re a driver, slow down, especially near vegetated areas; it saves lives, both human and herp alike!

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As we always like to say, don’t Beware of Snakes (and herps); be Aware of them! Spread what you’ve learned to your family and friends too, so that we can continue sharing this little green dot with our herpy friends for generations to come!

Guided Walk @ Treetop Walk

IMG_5211A Wagler’s Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) that was seen on our Herp Walk.

We got rained out of our last walk, but we’re back! After an invigorating Festival of Biodiversity, we’re eager to share even more about our native herps and why they should be conserved! This time, we’re teaming up with Little Green Men, a group dedicated to making the world a more eco-friendly place!

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! 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! So join us for this walk.

This walk will take place on Sunday, 18 September 2016, 8.00AM-12.00PM

Come down for a leisurely stroll along Treetop Walk. Let the guides regale you with tales about the natural history and transformation of the entire area. Learn about this green space in your very own backyard! If you’re lucky, you might get to see some of our scaly friends! So don’t wait! Register at this link

Guided Walk @Treetop Walk!

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A foraging Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus) at Treetop Walk

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! 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! So join us for this walk.

This walk will take place on Sunday, 21 August 2016, 8.00AM-12.00PM

Come down for a leisurely stroll along Treetop Walk. Let the guides regale you with tales about the natural history and transformation of the entire area. Learn about this green space in your very own backyard! If you’re lucky, you might get to see some of our scaly friends! So don’t wait! Register at this link.

Happy World Snake Day!

Snakes: among the most misunderstood, yet revered creatures in the world. Over 3000 species are known to mankind, and they are distributed across every continent except Antarctica. For thousands of years, these legless reptiles have inspired fear and struck awe into the hearts of humans. Even today, many people who encounter snakes react in fear and kill it on sight. Some distasteful sayings, like “The only good snake is a dead snake,” have arisen from the very same fear. To combat this fear, World Snake Day is commemorated on 16th July every year, when conservationists and herp lovers reach out and educate people on the ecological importance and beauty of these strange creatures!

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A Striped Kukri Snake (Oligodon octolineatus) from one of our Herp Walks

CULTURAL DEPICTIONS OF SNAKES
In the words of the great Edward O. Wilson, “The mind is primed to react emotionally to the sight of snakes, not just to fear them but to be aroused and absorbed in their details, to weave stories about them”[1] It’s no surprise, therefore, that they are such important parts of so many cultures.

Snakes are prominently featured in Hindu mythology, with Nagas appearing in many works of art, representing rebirth, and freedom. Lord Vishnu is often portrayed reclining on a many-headed cobra. Similarly, in Buddhist artwork, Lord Buddha is commonly shown meditating below a large cobra, with its coils forming his seat, and its hood forming an ‘umbrella’.

The Hindu god, Lord Vishnu (Left) and Lord Buddha (Right)

In Abrahamic cultures, the story of Aaron’s staff turning into a serpent before the Pharoah of Egypt is well known. Asclepius, the Ancient Greek god of medicine learned the secret of bringing people back from the dead from a snake (which were revered as symbols of wisdom and resurrection). Even today, Asclepius’ staff, with a serpent entwining it, has been adopted by hospitals and medical services around the world as a symbol of healing.

Asclepius, with his staff (Left) and the logo of the World Health Organization (Right)

SNAKES OF SINGAPORE
You might not think that urban and developed Singapore plays home to snakes, but there are surprisingly  many species that thrive in the various ecosystems that can still be found in our green spaces.

At least 64 species of terrestrial snakes have recently been recorded in Singapore. New records for the island have been made very recently. The Blackwater Mud Snake (Phytolopsis punctata) was only found to be in Singapore in 2014[2], while the second record of the Smooth Slug Snake (Asthenodipsas laevis) was also made in the same year[3].

Roughly 18 species of Sea Snakes may also be found in Singaporean waters. While they are not common sights, they may occasionally be seen by lucky divers. Sometimes, they can even be seen at low tide. Becky Lee from the HSS wrote about her encounter last August with an injured Marbled Sea Snake (Aipsyurus eidouxii) during a walk with the Naked Hermit Crabs.

The injured Marbled Sea Snake, which was found at Chek Jawa

Singapore plays home to many notable species of snakes, including the Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus). This is the largest species of snake in the world! While they do not reach especially gargantuan sizes in Singapore, they are very commonly seen even in urban habitats! Sometimes, these human encounters result in the snake getting killed out of fear. Although they may seem scary, the pythons want nothing to do with humans, and actually help to keep rat populations at bay!

Despite their unique evolutionary stories and massive ecological importance, these creatures are often victims of negative portrayals, superstitions and prejudice! It only seems fair that we should celebrate their existence and spread awareness on this sssspecial day!

REFERENCES
[1] – 
Wilson, E. O. (1984). Biophilia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
[2] – Thomas, N., Li, T., Lim, W., & Cai, Y. (2014, November 28). New record of the blackwater mud snake in Singapore. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014, 309-310. Retrieved July 16, 2016. <link>
[3] – Baker, N., & Thomas, N. (2014, December 26). Second record of the smooth slug snake in Singapore. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014, 337-338. Retrieved July 16, 2016. <link>

 

 

FREE Guided Herp Walk at Pasir Ris Mangrove


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! 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!

So, do come down for our very first night walk at Pasir Ris Mangroves! From this little-known boardwalk, see the awesome herps that call Pasir Ris Mangroves their home. Learn about the importance of the mangrove ecosystem and the irreplaceable services they provide us with. Check out the unique flora and fauna that can be found in this special habitat.

This walk will take place on Saturday 9 July 2016, 6PM-9PM.

So why wait! Register now!

Registration Link

World Sea Turtle Day

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Dr. Archie Carr (center) is regarded as the father of sea turtle biology, setting the foundations for the work of present and future sea turtle biologists around the world. (PHOTO CREDIT Dr. Archie Carr: Sea Turtle Conservancy; various sea turtles: Rushan bin Abdul Rahman)

June 16th is World Sea Turtle Day, made in honour of Dr. Archie Carr (June 16th, 1909 – May 21st, 1987), who has been regarded as the father of sea turtle biology. He founded the Sea Turtle Conservancy and turned the tide of sea turtle extinction into a road to recovery with many of his projects, from Operation Green Turtle to chairing the Marine Turtle Specialist Group of the IUCN for 20 years. His descriptive biology and ecological papers on the seven (or eight, depending on who you talk to) species of sea turtles have been the foundations for all sea turtle biologists worldwide to this day and for many years to come.

In celebration of World Sea Turtle Day, we will cover a bit on sea turtle biology and the fascinating life cycle of sea turtles, followed by the sea turtles found in Singapore and the perils they face. It is not all doom and gloom, as we will then talk about what you can do as the general public to make life a lot easier for our ancient and charismatic reptilian friends.

SEA TURTLE BIOLOGY

There are seven recognized species of sea turtles throughout the world: the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), the Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta), the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), the Flatback Sea Turtle (Natator depressus), and the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). The first six fall into the family of Cheloniidae turtles (essentially sea turtles with scutes on their shells) while the Leatherback Sea Turtle is the only living representative of the Dermochelyiidae family (sea turtles with no scutes)1. Though these are the only living representatives of sea turtles, six are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered under the International Union of Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species2–6, while the Flatback Sea Turtle is listed as data deficient7.They are entirely marine, meaning they can only be found in the salt waters of the ocean, and despite being primarily sea-faring animals, they evolved from land turtles in the mid-Cretaceous8 and need to surface to breathe.

 

Green Sea Turtles (left) and Hawksbill Sea Turtles (right) are the two species of sea turtles that can be found in the waters surrounding Singapore. (PHOTO CREDITS Green Sea Turtle: Chiara Fumagalli [Maldives]; Hawksbill Sea Turtle: Rushan bin Abdul Rahman [Maldives])

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

The life of sea turtles begins with a clutch of about 100 eggs in the sand at the beach. The sea turtles will hatch from the eggs between 45 to 60 days of incubation, but will not emerge from their nest just yet. When they hatch, they are born curved and with the yolk still attached to the bottom-shell (plastron), and take four to five days to straighten out and to absorb the yolk into their system. After this, they head towards the surface in a mad flurry, but will stay just below the surface of the sand and wait for nightfall when temperatures are cool. At that point, they come out of the sand and make a mad dash down the beach, into the water, and a mad “swim frenzy” out into open-ocean to catch ocean currents (Flatback Sea Turtle hatchlings, which are endemic to Australia, will not swim out to open-ocean but will stay within the nearshore habitats). From this point on, sea turtles will spend the rest of their lives in the ocean (with the exception of females, which will emerge onto the beach to lay their eggs).

Many sea turtle biologists agree that this is a very important part of the sea turtle life cycle, as this is where imprinting occurs (the act of sea turtle hatchlings remembering where they hatched from so they can return to the same nesting site to lay eggs when they are older)9,10. This is also the most dangerous part of their lives; predators abound on land and in sea, and many sea turtle hatchlings fall prey to ghost crabs, feral animals, birds, sharks, fish11,12.

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Hatchlings face a perilous journey from the moment they leave the nest; predators abound in every leg of their mad frenzy to reach offshore currents in open-ocean, with many of them not making it. Here, a Green Sea Turtle hatchling is observed making its way down the beach to the water. (PHOTO CREDITS Claire Gilby [Tioman Island])

Once in open-ocean, hatchlings are at the mercy of ocean currents. Some hatchlings hide out in rafts of Sargassum seaweed for several years, where they feed on anything they can find, such as small crustaceans and fish. Once they reach about a meter in length, some sea turtle species will recruit back to the near-shore reefs, such as Green Sea Turtles, Hawksbill Sea Turtles, and Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Leatherback Sea Turtles, Kemp’s and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles are turtles that live in open-ocean, though Leatherback Sea Turtles are known to dive to substantial depths to feed on jellyfish.

Within these habitats, sea turtles will forage for a good part of their lives, but every two or three years sea turtles will migrate to the sites from which they hatched in an event called natal-homing, which can be accurate to within a few kilometers1. Here, they will mate in the near-shore habitats, and the females will emerge onto the beach to lay their eggs (oviposition). Much of the oviposition occurs at night to avoid predation on themselves and on their eggs, but many other factors will determine where a sea turtle may nest13–15. The female will first dig a body pit with the front flippers, followed by them turning 180º and digging an egg chamber with their hind flippers. They will then lay an average of 100 eggs in each egg chamber (depending on the species), where the whole process will begin again.

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A clutch of eggs that was translocated to a hatchery at the Juara Turtle Project on Tioman Island. Each clutch averages at about 100 eggs, but this value varies depending on the species of sea turtle. Clutches are often translocated when the clutch in their original site run the risk of 100% mortality. (PHOTO CREDIT Sadhana Jayaseelan [Tioman Island])

The Ridley Sea Turtles undertake a phenomenal mass-nesting event called the arribada, where thousands of individuals will emerge onto the beaches to nest at once. Several hypotheses have been raised as to why they aggregate to mate and nest en masse, from predator saturation to being able to find mates easier in the water16.

SEA TURTLES OF SINGAPORE

Two species of sea turtles frequent the waters of our little red dot: the Green Sea Turtles and the Hawksbill Sea Turtles17. A single Leatherback Sea Turtle specimen was recovered in 1883, but no other Leatherback Sea Turtle sighting in Singapore territorial waters has been reported since18.

So far, there has been no evidence of Green Sea Turtles nesting on Singapore beaches, but there have been several reports of Hawksbill Sea Turtles nesting and hatching from our beaches19,20. This may be attributed to the nest site selections of the two species, where Green Sea Turtles prefer level and open-expanses of beaches with deep nesting chambers13,21, while Hawksbill Sea Turtles are happy to nest in dense vegetation along beaches22. That said, because many of the beaches in Singapore are reclaimed and artificial23, the nesting habitats are barely suitable for sea turtles in general, let alone for Green Sea Turtles.

THREATS WITHIN SINGAPORE

Nesting Hawksbill Sea Turtles in Singapore are worth celebrating, especially for a heavily urbanized island-state like ours, but they still face a multitude of threats. A single news report on poached sea turtle eggs in Singapore highlights the dangers of this activity24, and possibly that many other poaching incidents go unreported. Females will not go onto well-lit beaches, while hatchlings can be mis- or disorientated and head towards artificial light sources rather than the ocean25. Climate change can spell disaster for sea turtles as well, as rising sea levels can drown and kill entire clutches of sea turtle eggs26. Further, because sea turtle gender is temperature-dependent, where warmer temperatures produce more females and cooler temperatures produce more males, global warming can cause clutches to be entirely female, leaving no males to mate with them and resulting massive population crashes27. That is assuming temperatures do not go above the lethal threshold, after which entire clutches of sea turtle eggs can die28. The heavy boat traffic in Singapore can also increase the potential of sea turtles dying from boat strikes.

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Dead embryo and completely undeveloped yolk excavated from a nest in the Juara Turtle Project hatchery on Tioman Island. High temperatures can “cook” sea turtle eggs, killing the embryo within them. Embryo deaths can occur at any stage of development (PHOTO CREDIT Rushan bin Abdul Rahman [Tioman Island])

There are future plans for managing the incidents of sea turtles within Singapore, which will possibly mitigate the impact on the species. The National Parks Board has announced that a sea turtle hatchery will be opened on Sisters’ Island Marine Park as a means of moving sea turtle clutches found on mainland Singapore that are in danger of mortality. This hatchery is scheduled to be operational by end-2017.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

The picture painted for sea turtles in Singapore is not a pretty one, but there are things that everyday Singaporeans can do to reduce the threats to sea turtles in Singapore:

  1. Ensure that trash you bring to the beaches is disposed of properly within the designated bins in our coastal parks. Better yet, adopt a pack-in-pack-out mentality of taking whatever trash is brought into our coastal parks back out of the coastal parks and disposed responsibly elsewhere.
  2. Do not approach a sea turtle emerging onto the beach to nest; sea turtles are incredibly sensitive to movement and lights, and may abort the entire procedure if they feel the slightest inclination that they are being threatened.
  3. Do not touch sea turtle hatchlings that are emerging from the ground as this is a very sensitive part of their life cycle. Give them plenty of space to go into the water, and maybe even remove trash that would be in their way.
  4. If you do see a sea turtle on the beach, whether it is a nesting female or a hatchling, call the National Parks Board on their hotline at 1800 471 7300. Take note of your location (barbecue pit number, the zone you are in, etc.) so they are able to come down to the site.
Rushan is an environmental science honours student in Murdoch University undertaking a project using airborne laser scanning to see what aspects of beach topography sea turtles prefer for a nesting site. He has volunteered and interned with the Juara Turtle Project (Tioman Island, Malaysia), Seamarc Pvt. Ltd. (Maldives), and the National Parks Board (Singapore) working on various projects with hatchery management, a captive-rear-and-release program, sea turtle nursing and husbandry, identification of individual sea turtles, satellite tagging (ARGOS SPOT5) and satellite tracking. Upon completion of his course in July 2017, he hopes to continue working with sea turtles in Singapore and abroad.

REFERENCES CITED

  1. Bowen, B. W. & Karl, S. A. Population genetics and phylogeography of sea turtles. Mol. Ecol. 16, 4886–4907 (2007).
  2. Mortimer, J. A. & Donnelly, M. Eretmochelys imbricata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species e.T8005A12881238 (2008). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T8005A12881238.en
  3. Casale, P. & Tucker, A. D. Caretta caretta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species e.T3897A83157651 (2015). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T3897A83157651.en
  4. Abreu-Grobois, A. & Plotkin, P. Lepidochelys olivacea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species e.T11534A3292503 (2008). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T11534A3292503.en
  5. Marine Turtle Specialist Group. Lepidochelys kempii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species e.T11533A3292342 (1996). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.1996.RLTS.T11533A3292342.en
  6. Wallace, B. P., Tiwari, M. & Girondot, M. Dermochelys coriacea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2013). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-2.RLTS.T6494A43526147.en
  7. Red List Standards & Petitions Subcommittee. Natator depressus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species e.T14363A4435952 (1996). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.1996.RLTS.T14363A4435952.en
  8. Wang, Z. et al. The draft genomes of soft-shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle-specific body plan. Nat. Genet. 45, 701–706 (2013).
  9. Brothers, J. R. & Lohmann, K. J. Evidence for geomagnetic imprinting and magnetic navigation in the natal homing of sea turtles. Curr. Biol. 25, 392–396 (2015).
  10. Lohmann, K. J., Lohmann, C. M. F., Brothers, J. R. & Putman, N. F. in Biology of Sea Turtles: Volume III (eds. Wyneken, J., Lohmann, K. J. & Musick, J. A.) 59–78 (CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, 2013).
  11. Peterson, C. H., Fegley, S. R., Voss, C. M., Marschhauser, S. R. & VanDusen, B. M. Conservation implications of density-dependent predation by ghost crabs on hatchling sea turtles running the gauntlet to the sea. Mar. Biol. 160, 629–640 (2013).
  12. Burger, J. & Gochfeld, M. Avian predation on olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtle eggs and hatchlings: Avian opportunities, turtle avoidance, and human protection. Copeia 1, 109–122 (2014).
  13. Zavaleta-Lizarraga, L. & Morales-Mavil, J. E. Nest site selection by the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in a beach of the north of Veracruz, Mexico. Rev. Mex. Biodivers. 84, 927–937 (2013).
  14. Serafini, T. Z., Lopez, G. G. & Da Rocha, P. L. B. Nest site selection and hatching success of hawksbill and loggerhead sea turtles (Testudines, Cheloniidae) at Arembepe Beach, northeastern Brazil. Phyllomedusa 8, 3–17 (2009).
  15. Spanier, M. J. Beach erosion and nest site selection by the leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Testudines: Dermochelyidae) and implications for management practices at Playa Gandoca, Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58, 1237–46 (2010).
  16. Bernardo, J. & Plotkin, P. T. in Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles (ed. Plotkin, P. T.) 59 – 87 (John Hopkins University Press, 2007).
  17. Tan, R. Sea turtles. Wild Singapore (2010).
  18. Diong, C. H. in Assessment of the conservation status of the leatherback turtle in the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia. IOSEA Species Assessment: Volume I 120–121 (Secretariat of the Indian Ocean – South-East Asian Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding, 2006).
  19. Chua, G. Rare sea turtle spotted on beach at East Coast Park. The Straits Times (2013).
  20. Basu, R. Rollerbladers rescue baby turtles at East Coast. The Straits Times (2007). at <http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes20060526-1.2.60.22.aspx&gt;
  21. Chen, T. H. & Cheng, I. Breeding biology of the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, (Reptilia: Cheloniidae) on Wan-An Island, Peng-Hu Archipelago, Taiwan. I. Nesting Ecology. Mar. Biol. 124, 9–15 (1995).
  22. Zare, R., Vaghefi, M. & Kamel, S. Nest location and clutch success of the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) at Shidvar Island, Iran. Chelonian Conserv. Biol. 11, 229–234 (2012).
  23. Lai, S., Loke, L. H. L., Hilton, M. J., Bouma, T. J. & Todd, P. A. The effects of urbanisation on coastal habitats and the potential for ecological engineering: A Singapore case study. Ocean Coast. Manag. 103, 78–85 (2015).
  24. Jian, H. 无良公众挖走逾百海龟蛋. 新明日报 (2013).
  25. Salmon, M. Artificial night lighting and sea turtles. Biol. 50, 163–168 (2003).
  26. Shaw, K. R. Effects of inundation on hatch success of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests. (2013).
  27. Tomillo, P. S. et al. High beach temperatures increased female-biased primary sex ratios but reduced output of female hatchlings in the leatherback turtle. Biol. Conserv. 176, 71–79 (2014)
  28. Wood, A., Booth, D. T. & Limpus, C. J. Sun exposure, nest temperature and loggerhead turtle hatchlings: Implications for beach shading management strategies at sea turtle rookeries. J. Exp. Mar. Bio. Ecol. 451, 105–114 (2014).

Ubin Day (4th June 2016): Booth

This Ubin Day, come visit our booth on Pulau Ubin. Here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect, learning about herps (aka reptiles) from our guides and volunteers. There will also be colouring activities for children!

 

Mark your calendars and join us on that day! There will also be other booths and events to attend. To find out more, click here.

Date: 4th June 2016

Time: 9am to 4pm

Venue: Assembly Area, opposite the Nparks office