18 March 2013

Singapore has wild dolphins, otters, dugongs, sea turtles and more!

Mei Lin and friends had a magical close encounter with wild dolphins in Singapore waters just a few days ago!
Photo by Neo Mei Lin on her blog.
Other fascinating wild animals seen on our shores include otters, sea turtles and lots more!

Mei Lin shared her sighting of Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphins while she and her friends were doing a survey of our shores. Her friends in the water were "graced by the dolphin's presence around them. It kept a good distance of ~20-25m from the boys - playful and curious yet cautious about them." She shared this amazing video clip of the encounter.

Wild dolphins are regularly sighted in our waters. Just because we don't see them doesn't mean they're not there. If you spot one do share your sighting with SWiMMS, a programme to study and track sightings of marine mammals including dugongs. They are also on Facebook.
Click on image for larger view
More about our wild dolphins on the wild fact sheets.

Otterly fabulous!

Otters are more regularly seen than dolphins because these lively animals come to shore where people are. Otters are often seen at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and all along the northern shoreline from Woodlands Park to Punggol and Changi. Also on Pulau Ubin and at Chek Jawa. Even at Tuas! My most exciting encounter was with this young one at Pulau Semakau!
Smooth otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
OtterWatch is a programme to monitor sightings of and to study our wild otters. More about our wild otters on the wild fact sheets.

Delightful Dugongs

Although rarely seen, signs of dugongs are often encountered on our seagrass meadows. Dugongs eat only seagrasses, and thus sometimes called sea cows! They leave a typical feeding trail in the meadows and we have seen fresh trails on Chek Jawa and even mainland shores like Changi. As well as meadows in the south like Pulau Semakau and Cyrene Reef and other submerged reefs.
Fresh dugong feeding trails at Changi in Jan 2013.
More about our wild dugongs on the wild fact sheets.

Sea turtle surprises

In May 2006, baby sea turtles were spotted hatching on the East Coast! Baby turtles naturally head for the sea when they first hatch, moonlight over the water tells them were the sea is. Unfortunately, in urban Singapore, our lights distracted them. Volunteers turned up rapidly to help rescue the lost baby turtles and send them back where they belonged. More about the Hawksbill turtle hatchling rescue at East Coast Park on the habitatnews blog.
Photo by N. Sivasothi
In fact, sea turtles which nest in Malaysia actually live in our Southern Islands! In a study to tag Hawksbill turtle with satellite transmitter, one was seen near Sentosa. More about this on the News from International Coastal Cleanup blog and the WWF Malaysia Satellite Tracking of Hawksbill Turtles page
More about sea turtles on the wild fact sheets.

These are just the a few of the amazing marine plants and animals that live in Singapore waters! More in 15 Fabulous Facts about Singapore's shores!

YOU can make a difference for our shores!

Explore your shores! Just join any of the many guided activities on our shores, from walks to dives. Come for shore talks and other events. These are updated daily on the wildsingapore happenings blog. Get weekly updates by subscribing to the blog.

Express about your shores! Blog about your trip. Share your photos. Send me the links and I will post it up on wildsingapore for everyone to share.

Speak up about our shores. Enjoyed your trip? Tell the organisers, agencies managing the shore. You don't need to write only to complain. Written support of existing habitats will strengthen the case for preserving them. Don't wait until they are at risk!

Act for your shores! Join any of the many volunteer opportunities, more about these on on-going opportunities. Get updates emailed to you by subscribing to feeds from the wildsingapore daily news blog which features news, blog updates and volunteer opportunities.

MORE links
This has been a brief introduction to our shores. Here's links to more!
About our wild places how to get there, what to see and do, what to prepare.
Blog entries about our wildshores


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