History of SBWR 1986: Avid birdwatchers from the then Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch) stumbled upon SB. They wrote a proposal to the government for its conservation. 1989: The wetland site was designated as a nature park 1993: The then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong officially opened the nature park. 1994: SBWR welcomed its 10,000 visitor
Scientific name: There are hundreds of scientific names for each species of bracket fungi, but bracket fungi are from the phylum basidiomycota in the class basidiomycetes Habitat: Mainly on trees, logs (living or dead) and coarse woody debris Special qualities: They are hardy, resilient and can live for a long time Uses: Some grown for human consumption and some for medicinal use
African Tulip Tree Scientific name: Spathodea campanulata Habitat: Wastelands Special qualities: The ripe pods split open into a woody, boat-shaped form. Children use them in boat races, by placing the opened pods in a fast flowing drain Uses: The bark, flowers and leaves are used in traditional medicine in Western Africa
Scientific name: Avicennia rumphiana Habitat: Grows on upper half of foreshow preferring sand or firm mud in South East Asia to New Guinea Special qualities: The fur on the leaves conserve water by trapping a layer of insulating air and thus reducing water lass through evaporation Uses: The wood is suitable as firewood for smoking fish, can be used as a rudder of a boat or ship and as a rice mortar, the ash can be made into soap and the fruits can be eaten roasted, boiled or sundried
Bird’s Nest Fern Scientific name: Asplenium nidus Habitat: Grows on trees and rocks, even on the ground after falling from trees Special qualities: The leaves can grow up to 1.4 metres long and are shaped to collect rainwater and nutrient-rich debris Uses: Eaten by tribes in Malaysia and some are used as house plants
Blind Your Eyes Scientific name: Exoecaria agallocha Habitat: Further inland, usually at the high water mark Special qualities: The sap can cause temporary blindness (thus the name) if it enters the eyes or skin irritation and blisters Uses: The sap is used by natives in New Guinea as arrow poison. It may have anti-HIV, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties
Crinum Lily Scientific name: Crinum asiatium Habitat: Sandy seashores Special qualities: The flower is nice-smelling but the plant is poisonous Uses: Used to treat aches, sores and chaps. Crushed leaves are used to treat piles, mixed with honey and applied to wounds and abscesses.
Jamaican Cherry Tree Scientific name: Muntingia calabura Habitat: Anywhere with sun and water but without salt Special qualities: It has sweet and sticky fruits. Birds, bats and even children in some areas help to disperse the seeds Uses: Fruits are made into jam and tarts, flowers are used to treat spasms, headaches and colds and its timber is used to make small carpentry
Nipah Palm Scientific name: Nypa fruticans Habitat: Brackish mangrove forest strips situated further inland where there are calm conditions and high freshwater input Special qualities: It is the mangrove plant with the oldest known fossil, with pollen dated 70 million years old Uses: Tapped to collect a sweet sap, the young shoots can be eaten, the petals of the flower can be brewed and immature fruits are a common ingredient in desserts. Dried fronds can be used to make mats, baskets and other household items.
Scientific name: Hibiscus tiliaceus Habitat: Along the seashore and back mangroves Special qualities: The yellow flowers open in the morning and turn darker over the day. It turns brownish before falling on the same day or the following day Uses: Leaves are used to cool fevers, sooth coughs and remove phlegm, fresh bark soaked in water is used to treat dysentery and many other uses
Sea Holly Scientific name: Acanthus ebracteatus Habitat: Grows in the undergrowth of mangroves in South- East Asia Special qualities: Leaves growing in the deep shade can be totally spineless Uses: There are many, but these are two: Mangrove dwellers believe that chewing the leaves can cure snake bites and is also used to treat kidney stones
Scientific name: Nymphaea sp. Habitat: Surface of water Special qualities: Although the flowers are beautiful and fragrant, they only last a few days Uses: The American Indians made flour out of dried roots by pounding them, which was then baked into pancakes. The young leaves and flower buds were eaten as vegtables, and seeds were eaten fried
Archer Fish Scientific name: Toxotes jaculatrix Habitat: Commonly seen in mangrove swamps Diet: Feed mainly on crustaceans, insects, red-clawed clab (sesarma bidens) and ants from the formicidae family Special qualities: They are known for their ability to shoot down insects and small creatures resting on foliage or mangrove roots (see picture!)
Atlas Moth Scientific name: Attucas atlas Habitat: Primarily found in tropical forests and surrounding lowlands in the vicinity of their host plants Diet: Adults do not feed Special qualities: They do not have functioning mouth parts as an adult so they do not feed. Instead, they live off fat reserves built up when it was a caterpillar, when it ate a variety of foodplants.
History of SBWR Black-Crowned Night Heron source
Black-Crowned Night Heron Scientific name: Nycticorax nycticorax Habitat: They nest in mangroves Diet: Fish, aquatic and land invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, plants, carrion and food from garbage dumps Special qualities: They steal eggs and young from other herons, which attack them on sight because of this
Giant Mudskipper Scientific name: Periophthalmodon schlosseri Habitat: Along the intertidal zone at the margin between land and sea Diet: Carnivorous; aggressively hunting arthropods (like insects), crustaceans, and even smaller mudskippers Special qualities: They rotate their eyes to swill the water in the gill chambers around and keep the gills fluffed up and oxygenated
Golden Orb Web Spider Scientific name: Nephila maculata Habitat: Usually above ground, they spin their webs between plants and other objects Diet: Large flying insects Special qualities: Its silk is used by tribes to catch fish, which will get entangled in the ball of silk wound around a stick. It makes the largest and strongest web even though it is not the largest spider
Malayan Water Monitor Scientific name: Varanus salvator Habitat: Burrows built in river banks, both fresh and salt water Diet: They are carnivorous and eat a wide range of animals, such as fish, frogs, rodents, birds, crabs, snakes, turtles, young crocodiles and crocodile eggs, and carrion. Special qualities: Highly mobile, they can swim far out to sea, remain underwater for up to half an hour and run faster than most humans (because of their leg muscles)
Mud Lobster Scientific name: Thalassina anomala Habitat: Never most out of its burrow (volcano shaped mounds found in the back mangroves) Diet: Believed to eat tiny organic titbits in mud Special qualities: Their burrows are U-shaped and can be as deep as 2 metres below the waterline
Plantain Squirrel Scientific name: Callosciurus notatus (In fact, “callosciurus” means “beautiful squirrels”) Habitat: Rest in hollow trees; gardens, forest habitats and mangroves; rarely comes to the ground Diet: Fruit pulp and seeds, flowers or leafy shoots, arthropods (invertebrate animals) Special qualities: They are agile animals and can jump a few metres between trees.
Smooth Otter Scientific name: Lutrogale perspicillata Habitat: Occur throughout much of southern Asia; found where water is plentiful Diet: Eat whatever is plentiful and easy to catch, prey includes crustaceans, frogs, water rats, large birds, turtles, and fish. Special qualities: Largest otters in Southeast Asia, and they have shorter and smoother coats