Daily Decay (3rd March 2018)

Daily Decay (3rd March 2018): Skull of Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus) @ Buona Vista

This skull of a Domestic Cat was found along the KTM railway tracks that run through Buona Vista, back when the trains still travelled along this stretch. It had most probably been killed by a passing train.

Today (21st February 2015) is World Pangolin Day! This is a day for pangolin enthusiasts worldwide to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals – and their plight.

Pangolins are secretive and nocturnal creatures, rarely seen by people, and not exactly the cutest of the forest’s inhabitants. But personally, I am very fond of pangolins, and hope to be able to encounter one in the wild someday.

Pangolins are secretive and nocturnal creatures, rarely seen by people, and not exactly the cutest of the forest’s inhabitants. But personally, I am very fond of pangolins, and hope to be able to encounter one in the wild someday.

The pangolin species found in the forests of Singapore is the Sunda or Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica). Here, it receives some protection from the rampant poaching and smuggling that threatens to wipe out populations of Sunda Pangolins in other parts of Southeast Asia, but they still face other challenges here. Clearing of forests and other wooded areas destroys the habitats that pangolins and other forest wildlife need, and the roads that often cut through or run alongside our forest patches have led to the deaths of many pangolins over the years. Every so often, there are reports of pangolin carcasses by the road, victims of drivers who often travel at high speeds and don’t slow down for wildlife.

This is my only sighting of a dead pangolin in a natural setting to date: a skeleton found along the tracks of the Rail Corridor in 2011, somewhere close to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. At that time, the KTM trains between Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands were still in service, and I won’t be surprised if this unfortunate pangolin had been struck and killed by a passing train.

Hopefully, with greater awareness of the fact that pangolins still survive in Singapore’s remaining forest patches, more people will be inspired to help protect these bizarre-looking creatures and the forests they live in.

Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus) (?)
Bukit Merah, 21st May 2011

This skeleton of a medium-sized snake was found along the KTM railway tracks that run through Bukit Merah. Because of the size of the snake, my guess is that this is a Reticulated Python that could have been struck and killed by a passing train.

Rat (Rattus sp.)
Choa Chu Kang, 27th June 2011

This rat carcass was found on the KTM railway tracks that run through Choa Chu Kang. It might have been killed by a passing train.

This could be any of the following species of rat, which may be found in secondary growth and scrub in more rural areas of Singapore:

Oriental House Rat or Asian House Rat (Rattus tanezumi), formerly considered a subspecies of the Common House Rat or Black Rat (Rattus rattus)

Polynesian Rat (Rattus exulans)

Malaysian Wood Rat (Rattus tiomanicus)

Annandale’s Rat (Rattus annandalei)

Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus)
Buona Vista, 27th June 2011

This Javan Myna, found on the KTM railway line that runs through Buona Vista, had been decapitated. I suspect it was most probably killed by a passing train.