You’ve probably seen the occasional wild boar or a romp of otters, but have you spotted these?
The beautiful Hawksbill Turtles are critically endangered in the world, mainly because they are hunted for their colored and patterned shells. Despite their dwindling numbers, there has been six reported instances of these sea turtles visiting our Singapore shores and laying eggs on our sandy beaches in Sentosa within the past 25 years. The most recent Hawksbill Turtle sighting was at Sentosa’s Siloso beach and Palawan beach in early September where two of the females laid eggs. The first nest of eggs hatched recently and 85 hatchlings were released into the sea on November 1st.
Raffles’ banded langur
Scientific name: Presbytis femoralis femoralis
These monkeys, unlike the long-tailed macaque commonly sighted in Singapore, are rare. According to the South China Morning Post, there seems to be only 60 of these monkeys left in Singapore – restricted to the central catchment nature reserve. The Raffles banded langur is one of only three non-human primates found in Singapore. Back in the 1900s, they were hunted down because of their “cute” features to become pets. That greatly attributed to their massive decline in population.
Indo-pacific humpback dolphin
Also commonly known as ‘Pink Dolphin’ – not to be confused with the drink.
The Indo-pacific humpback dolphin is considered a locally endangered species, some sightings of these dolphins in Singapore were photographed/captured on video in 2020. Some of the places it was spotted at include the waters around Lazarus Island, St. John’s Island, East Coast Park and Tuas. According to Wild Singapore, “It has been shown that the waters around the southern coast of Singapore Island, despite being more industrialised, are less polluted in terms of bacteria, chemical tracers and pathogenic vibrios,” That’s perhaps why these marine mammals were spotted in our waters.
Lesser False Vampire Bat
Scientific name: Megaderma spasma
Contrary to what its name suggests, this species of bats are not bloodsuckers. They feed on insects and smaller animals. It’s hard to spot them as bats (world’s only flying mammal) are nocturnal but if you look closely, they’re all across our island.
Scientific name: Ichthyophis paucisulcus
At first glance, it may resemble a snake but it’s actually not part of the snake family. It’s a non-poisonous amphibian that’s related to newts and frogs. They are hardly ever spotted because they hide in soil and leaf litter. The last recorded sighting in Singapore was in 2015, at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.