Daily Decay (17th February 2018)

Daily Decay (17th February 2018): Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) @ South Buona Vista Road

Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis)
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 29th April 2016

This carcass of a Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat was found by Holly Siow.

Find out how you can contribute to Monday Morgue too.

Stomper Mitch came across the carcasses of more than 10 bats in Lentor Avenue this morning (Jun 2).

He wonders what could be the cause of the deaths.

Said the Stomper:

“I found bats’ dead bodies scattered on the grass, pavement and road on Lentor Avenue this morning, 2 June.

"In total, there were more than 10 of them. I posted a few photos here. It looks like they have been dead for a day or two.

"What could be the cause of this? Pesticide or some other reason?”

Source: STOMP

These appear to be Asiatic Lesser Yellow House Bats (Scotophilus kuhlii). One possibility is that a bat roost in the area was cleared out by people using methods that proved to be lethal in the end.

Photograph by Noel Thomas

Recent sighting records of five bat species from
Gunung Arong, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia

Identity of subject Fawn Roundleaf Bat (Hipposideros cervinus) (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Hipposideridae).

Location: Jalan Air Papan – Tanjung Resang, Gunung Arong Forest.

Habitat: Lowland, tall secondary forest.

Date and time: 26 March 2016, 20:00 hrs.

Description of record: An intact, freshly deceased Roundleaf Bat was found on the road shoulder of Jalan Air Papan – Tanjung Resang, a two-lane metalled road which dissects Gunung Arong Forest Reserve. The carcass had no visible evidence of injury or sickness. Measurements were taken as follows : head-body length 55.8 mm, tail length 26.0 mm, forearm length 50.5mm, tibia length 20.0 mm, ear height 13.9 mm.

Remarks: Based on the shape of the noseleaf , which has two lateral leaflets (with the intermediate leaflet narrower than the posterior noseleaf), and on the suite of measurements, this bat is identified as Hipposideros cervinus.

Hipposideros cervinus is common in primary, lowland dipterocarp forest at Krau Wildlife Reserve (KWR), Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia (Kingston et al, 2006). KWR is 230 km northwest of Gunung Arong. The range of this species is extensive: in addition to Peninsular Malaysia it also occurs in Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, eastern Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia (Francis, 2008).

References:

  • Francis, C. M. (2008). A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. 392 pp.
  • Kingston, T., Lim, B. L. & Akbar, Z. (2006). Bats of Krau Wildlife Reserve. Penerbit Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. 145 pp.

Source: Southeast Asia Vertebrate Records 2016: 67-71

Lesser Asiatic Yellow House Bat (Scotophilus kuhlii)
Pasir Ris, 2nd July 2015

Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis)
East Coast Park, 6th February 2015

This carcass of a Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat was found by Benjamin Loo and Angelynn Soo.

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Bat End
By Solomon Anthony, 30th December 2014;

As I was walking, I was looking up at the trees to see if I could get lucky and see an owl or something. I then saw a sad sight that actually kinda ruined the evening for me actually.

I noticed something floating up high in the tree. Upon closer inspection I noticed it was an abandoned triple hook fishing lure connected to a fishing line that had got stuck in a tree. At the sharp end of the abandoned hook was its victim. I took a photo to confirm.

The clear outline of a Bat.

I can only guess that it had got stuck when it accidentally flew into it. Its wings were caught in the barbed hooks.

The bat must have struggled for a very very long time before dying a very slow death. It was sad to see that our carelessness or just plain disregard has is consequences. There were a few other abandoned hooks around.

Read More

Source: Go Wildlife Now!

Mangled remains of a fruit bat.
(Photograph by Horst Flotow)

Spiny Terrapin (Heosemys spinosa) scavenging on a bat carcass

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, forest north of MacRitchie Reservoir; 20 July 2014; 1030 hrs.

Observation: An adult Spiny Terrapin of about 25 cm carapace length was found feeding on a fresh but severely mangled carcass of a Fruit Bat (Cynopterus sp.). The terrapin, apparently startled by the contributor, walked quickly away from the carcass which immediately attracted blowflies.

Remarks: The Spiny Terrapin is said to be primarily herbivorous, but is known to occasionally consume insects, earthworms and carrion (Bonin et al., 2006: 322). The present observation illustrates the scavenging behaviour of this species.

Reference:

  • Bonin, F., B. Devaux & A. Dupré, 2006. Turtles of the World. English edition. A & C Black Publishers Ltd, London. 416 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 250

DEAD BUT NOT USELESS: Mr Marcus Chua studies a rat specimen that was obtained from a roadkill at Paya Lebar. TNP PHOTOS: BENJAMIN LIM

Roadkill ‘revival’
Researchers at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum preserve dead wild animals for study
By Regina Marie Lee, 18th June 2014;

He was waiting for the train at Paya Lebar MRT station in April when he spotted a “brown patch” on the East-West Line platform.

“I nearly stepped on this brown patch on the floor. On closer inspection, I realised it was a bat,” said Sean Yap.

The 22-year-old National University of Singapore (NUS) life sciences undergraduate was surprised, but quickly tried to salvage the carcass.

He said: “A train had just arrived, so my friend blocked passers-by from stepping on the bat as I used tissue to pick it up, and placed it in a piece of bubble wrap.

"I didn’t recognise the bat species, and it was smaller and more fluffy than the common types in Singapore, so I salvaged it for the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) at NUS.”

He has tried to salvage other road kill for the museum before.

It was indeed a bat not commonly encountered here, according to LKCNHM officer Marcus Chua. There is only one other confirmed record of this species – the Javan Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus javanicus) – in Singapore.

Mr Yap explained: “The museum is always on the lookout for specimens because it prefers not to kill animals that are still living.”

While a dead wild animal on the roads can be an obstacle or safety hazard for other people, it is a potential specimen for study for the LKCNHM’s researchers.

Mr Chua, 30, said: “In the past, people used to shoot and collect wild animals for studying.

"But as we experienced habitat loss and some species became rarer in Singapore, conservation became the priority. Recognising that, (researchers) rely mainly on salvaging dead animals for study.”

It is usually officers from the National Parks Board or friends of the museum who report road-kill sightings.

On average, the museum gets a sighting once every two months. They can be found anywhere, but, for mammals, especially at the periphery of nature reserves.

Mr Chua said: “Road-kill specimens are important because every carcass tells a story. Researchers can learn about where the animal came from. It could highlight the population…at certain locations, or tell us what sort of migratory birds are coming to Singapore.”

The DNA collected is added to a DNA bank, and chemical analysis done on the animal can highlight environmental pollution.

The Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) was thought to be extinct in mainland Singapore, with the last reported sighting in 1968.

But one was run over by a vehicle in Mandai Road in 2001, showing that the species had survived in Singapore.

However, getting the road kill is always a race against time.

“It is a competition with the National Environment Agency,” he said, laughing. “They want to keep the roads clean while we want to get the road kill.”

Those who spot a dead wild animal can inform the museum on 6516-5082 during office hours, or e-mail mammal@sivasothi.com

Source: The New Paper (Mirrors: 1, 2, 3)

Dorso-lateral (top) and ventral (bottom) views of the Javan Pipistrelle (ZRC 4.9490).
(Photographs by Kelvin K. P. Lim)

Javan Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus javanicus) at Paya Lebar

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Paya Lebar, Paya Lebar Mass Rapid Transport Station; 4 April 2014; around 2300 hrs.

Observation: A male example of 32.3 mm forearm length was found dead on the train station’s platform. The attached figures show the dorso-lateral and the ventral views of the specimen.

Remarks: The specimen is preserved and catalogued as ZRC 4.9490 in the Zoological Reference Collection of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore. It is not known how the bat had died, but the skin on the right side of his abdomen was split open, indicating that he may have suffered a violent impact. It is possible that the bat may have collided with the rotating blades of the giant ceiling fans at the train station platform. This is the second confirmed record of the Javan Pipistrelle in Singapore (see: Chan et al., 2009). Both local records of this species are from urban areas.

Reference:

  • Chan K. W., K. K. P. Lim & T. M. Leong, 2009. The Javan Pipistrelle, Pipistrellus javanicus (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Singapore. Nature in Singapore. 2: 323-327.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 100