Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Bidadari Squirrel

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The variable squirrel, Callosciurus finlaysonii, has long established itself in the Aljunied areas since early 1990; according to the book “Wild Animals of Singapore”.

Native to Thailand and its surrounding countries, this beautiful squirrel is unfortunately not native to Singapore. To me and my friends, it doesn’t really matter since one is almost certainly to squeal in delight exclaiming “so cute!” seeing the squirrel and its acrobatic antics.

It is almost a guarantee that you can find the squirrel in Bidadari Cemetery in the mornings. We were particularly lucky as quite a number of large figs in the place were figging, and we get to see one of them foraging about a Ficus microcarpa.

A side effect of squirrel-watching is the same as birding though. Intense neck craning from looking up the tree for too long.

 

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A religious one also went about its prayers before commencing with its breakfast at another fig tree.

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It must really suck to have Acrophobia, or a fear heights for a squirrel. Look at how intensely it grabbed the tree branch below. It was almost as if it was scared to fall down. Haha~

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No problems hopping on the ground though, as this one below escaped from our overwhelming curiosity and enthusiasm.

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For those who are unaware, Bidadari Cemetery, just like the Bukit Brown Cemetery, will be eventually cleared for residential use. While a large portion of the area are open spaces (most graves are exhumed), it still host a number of big mature trees like the Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans), Bodhi Tree (Ficus religiosia), Malayan Banyan (Ficus microcarpa), Benjamin Fig (Ficus Benjamina). All these fruit/fig bearing trees provide plenty of resources for birds and this charismatic squirrel. The open spaces and good shade from the trees also make a nice spot for a picnic or kite-flying.

Therefore, take a look before it is gone!

4 comments:

Federick Ho said...

Wow, so cute and nice. Good shots.
Must visit the place before it is gone forever.

Siyang said...

Thanks :)

Yup! Heard its going to be cleared very soon~

Kwa KL said...

What will happen to the squirrel when the place is develop?will they spill over to surrounding area,or go extinct when there are no suitable habitat?

Siyang said...

I guess it is hard to say whether they can survive in more urban habitats then this large green space.

Hopefully it can! But there will definitely be some competition with another native urban squirrel, the plantain squirrel. Might not be good news for the latter. :s

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