Honours student collects dead birds


Source: SPHRazorTV

Honours student collects dead birds

Fig. 3. Remains of the partially eaten Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) (ZRC 2.7057). Photograph by Noel Thomas

Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) preying on Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina)

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Singapore Botanic Gardens; 14 March 2014; 1220 hrs.

Observation: At 1220 hrs, a Crested Serpent Eagle was observed landing on a grassy slope with an Oriental Whip Snake in its talons. The snake was still alive and writhing. The eagle first bit the back of the snake’s head, presumably killing the prey. It then proceeded to feed on selected parts of the snake while grasping it firmly in its talons. At 1501 hrs in the same area, the snake was found partially eaten and abandoned. It was retrieved for documentation purposes. Injuries were found mostly on the posterior ventral side of the snake. The specimen was then deposited in the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at the National University of Singapore, under catalogue number ZRC 2.7057.

Remarks: The Crested Serpent Eagle occurs in Singapore both as a very rare resident and a non-breeding visitor from neighbouring areas. It is found mainly in forest and old plantations, and is a well-known predator of reptiles, particularly tree snakes (Yong et al., 2013: 36).


  • Yong D. L., K. C. Lim & T. K. Lee, 2013. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Singapore. John Beaufoy Publishing Limited, Oxford, England. 176 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 82-83

Informed of a Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) carcass by NParks staff Jin Hong during the week. A sorry sight. It was a little too decomposed for salvage.

Source: Marcus Chua Vine

Fig. 1. Dorsal view of roadkill Jasper Cat Snake (ZRC 2.7020).
Fig. 2. Ventral view of roadkill Jasper Cat Snake (ZRC 2.7020).
(Photographs by Noel Thomas)

Jasper Cat Snake (Boiga jaspidea) roadkill at Upper Seletar

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Upper Seletar area; 13 March 2013; 1150 hrs.

Observation: A female measuring 120 centimetres total length was found on the road, freshly killed by a vehicle (Fig. 1). It had sustained fatal injuries to the anterior portion of the body which was flattened.

Remarks: The specimen was collected by the contributor who then deposited it in the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at the National University of Singapore under the catalogue number ZRC 2.7020.

In Singapore, the Jasper Cat Snake occurs in mature forest in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and on Pulau Tekong (Baker & Lim, 2012: 95). As it is rarely seen, it is regarded as a ‘critically endangered’ species within Singapore (Lim et al., 2008: 162).


  • Baker, N. & K. K. P. Lim, 2012. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Updated edition. Draco Publishing and Distribution Pte. Ltd. and Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
  • Lim, K. K. P., Baker, N., Teo, R. & T.M. Leong, 2008. Reptiles. In: Davison, G. W. H., P. K. L. Ng & H. C. Ho (Eds.). The Singapore Red Data Book. Threatened Plants & Animals of Singapore. Second Edition. The Nature Society (Singapore). pp. 160–176.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 68-69

Found this little bat last night – undamaged and had;t been dead long. Is it rare? Does anyone from RMBR want it?

Here’s a head shot of the bat – does this help with ID?

Sad to say that I found another bat today, in the exact same spot. Both are now with RMBR.

Sad to say I’ve found another dead bat in my garden. This is the third one now. Beginning to wonder why this is…

Source: Tanglin Halt Wildlife Watch [1], [2], [3]

An update on the dead bats!
Two were Lesser Asiatic Yellow House Bats (Scotophilus kuhlii) and one was a Javan Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus javanicus).
I’ve since been told that the Javan Pipistrelle found a few days ago here is only the second recorded in Singapore in 100 years! I find that amazing – let’s hope there are more out there.

Source: Tanglin Halt Wildlife Watch

We thank Alison Wilson for helping us salvage these three bats that were found dead in the Tanglin Halt area. They have now been preserved and have joined over 500,000 specimens of the Zoological Reference Collection for research and education.

These bats: Lesser Asiatic Yellow House Bat (Scotophilus kuhlii) (left and centre) and Javan Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus javanicus) (right) hunt insects, and help to maintain a healthy balance of insects in the environment.

If you see a dead wild animal, please send us a message on the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research Facebook page, call us at 6516 5082, or email mammal@sivasothi.com. A photo or description of the animal, its general condition and detailed location would be most useful.

Source: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR)

Fig. 1. Dorsal view of entire snake. Photograph by Noel Thomas

Golden Gliding Snake (Chrysopelea ornata ornatissima) at Shenton Way

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Shenton Way; 14 May 2013.

Observation: One example of 106.6 centimetres total length (Fig.1) was found dead at a construction site, possibly killed by workers.

Remarks: The specimen has been preserved and catalogued as ZRC 2.7022 in the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at the National University of Singapore. The Golden Gliding Snake is not native to Singapore. Chrysopelea ornata is found in India and Sri Lanka eastwards to the Indochinese region, and south to the northern Malay Peninsula (Das, 2010: 272). It is similar in appearance to the native Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi), but distinguishable by having a black longitudinal line on every dorsal scale. The present individual is believed to be an abandoned or escaped pet that may have been illegally imported.


  • Das, I., 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-east Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. 376 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 51

Fig. 1. Shells of Amphidromus atricallosus perakensis in various stages of damage possibly caused by rodent (bottom row, right-most shell) and avian (remainder of shells) predators.
Fig. 2. Close ups of shell showing distinct marks that appear to have been made by a rodent.
(Photographs by Foon Junn Kitt)

Possible rodent and avian predation of Tree Snail Amphidromus atricallosus perakensis

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Lower Seletar Reservoir; 29 December 2013; 1410 hrs.

Observation: Ten shells of Amphidromus atricallosus perakensis displaying various breakages (Fig. 1) were found at the edge of secondary forest. Each shell bears evidence of damage, apparently by predatory animals.

Nine of the shells appear to have been mechanically broken, possibly by birds (Fig. 1). Five of them show prominent breakage at the apical whorls, two shells at the lateral whorls, one shell a fragment of the lateral whorls, one shell a fragment of the apical whorls and one relatively intact shell with a single small hole at the terminal whorl.

A single shell bears damage that could be caused by a mammal. The broken edges of the shell appear to match the marks made by incisor teeth, very likely to be that of a rodent such as a rat or a squirrel (Fig. 2).

Remarks: Amphidromus atricallosus temasek has been observed to fall prey to the Red-crowned Barbet (Megalaima rafflesii) in Singapore, although the predator’s technique of soft parts extraction remains unknown. Other birds have been observed to apply sharp pecks or continuous hitting of snail shell on anvils in order to break the shell and extract the soft parts within (Barker, 2004).

Lok & Tan (2008) speculated that Amphidromus atricallosus temasek (as Amphidromus atricallosus perakensis) in Singapore are also preyed on by rodents based on reports of rat predation on congeners in Malaysia (Schilthuizen et al., 2007). Snails eaten by small mammals have been shown to display broken shells with corrugated edges (Barker, 2004).

Based on these observations, nine of the shells featured here display damage apparently characteristic of avian predation while one exhibits damage consistent with that made by a small mammal. Scrape marks possibly inflicted by the teeth of a small rodent are also distinctly visible (Fig. 2). However, the exact species of mammalian or bird predator remains unknown. Reports of first hand observations of predation on the snails are necessary for confirmation.


  • Barker, G. M., 2004. Natural Enemies of Terrestrial Molluscs. CABI Publishing, Oxfordshire. 640 pp.
  • Lok, A. F. S. L. and S. K. Tan, 2008. A review of the Singapore status of the Green Tree Snail, Amphidromus atricallosus perakensis Fulton, 1901 and its biology. Nature in Singapore. 1: 225-230.
  • Lok, A. F. S. L., C. J. Yao and B. S. Tey, 2009. Barbets of Singapore part 3: forest species, with emphasis on Megalaima rafflesii Lesson, the Red-crowned Barbet. Nature in Singapore. 2: 69-76.
  • Schilthuizen, M., P. G. Craze, A. S. Cabanban, A. Davison, J. Stone, E. Gittenberger & B. J. Scott, 2007. Sexual selection maintains whole-body chiral dimorphism in snails. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 20(5): 1941-1949.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 40-41