Sunday, July 24, 2011

Passers-by distracted by swinging monkey near Woodleigh MRT station

Passers-by distracted by swinging monkey near Woodleigh MRT station

A group of people were watching a monkey swing from tree to tree near Woodleigh MRT station.

STOMPer boy said in his contribution:

"I saw a bunch of people watching a monkey jump onto a tree vine which is located near Woodleigh MRT station.

"They were happily swinging around.

"But I think it is dangerous for them to be so close."
It appears that this is a long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) that was probably living in the nearby Bidadari Cemetery. I'm not sure if there is a resident troop, or if this is just a stray individual that dispersed from somewhere else.

Bidadari Cemetery gates
Main gate of Bidadari Cemetery;
(Photo by SNAP: Singapore National Album of Pictures)

Bidadari Cemetery is a currently defunct cemetery that once held Muslim and Christian graves; most of them have since been exhumed, and Woodleigh MRT Station is located on part of the former site. The land has been earmarked for future housing development, but for now, the place remains a woodland.

(Photo by scyll24)

The area has become a popular site for bird enthusiasts, especially since it gives many the chance to catch a glimpse of migratory birds. Some of the species recorded there include Mugimaki flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki), dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Malaysian night heron (Gorsachius melanolophus), Indian cuckoo (Cuculus micropterus), eyebrowed thrush (Turdus obscurus), grey nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus), and black baza (Aviceda leuphotes).

Black baza;

Grey nightjar;

Indian cuckoo;

Mugimaki flycatcher;
(Photos by NatureInYourBackyard)

(Photo by NatureInYourBackyard)

Bidadari Cemetery also has an established population of variable squirrel (Callosciurus finlaysoni), a non-native species from Thailand and Indochina. Probably originating from escaped pets, it remains to be seen if these squirrels have any negative ecological impacts, or if they will eventually spread beyond the cemetery and into other wooded areas.

Based on the coloration, these variable squirrels are likely to belong to the bocourti subspecies, which is native to central and eastern Thailand.

Lumpini Park, Bangkok 585
Variable squirrel, Bangkok;
(Photo by oznasia)

My friends James, Kok Sheng, Siyang, and Ron have all visited Bidadari on separate occasions, and have written posts about the fauna and flora there. There is also an older article from a 2002 issue of Nature Watch.

(Photo by scyll24)