Oct 28, 2007

Raining Cats at Chek Jawa!

Today I was out on Chek Jawa with TeamSeagrass to do the regular seagrass monitoring. The day started out fine but it started raining as soon as we arrived on Ubin. It lightened up to a drizzle and we decided to proceed with monitoring.

As soon as we started work, the heavens opened up and it really poured! We all got totally wet. Alas, of course no photos as a result since the camera had to be packed away. Not even of the required monitoring shots.

Sijie posted more about TeamSeagrass' work on his nature scouters blog

As dusk fell, soggy, grumpy and, as Marcus put it, slowly starting to mould, we were waiting around at the Information Kiosk for everyone to get ready to go home.

Suddenly, in the dim undergrowth, we noticed a large animal moving quickly up a tree. It was a civet cat!Whipping out our cameras, we managed to get some quick shots of this very shy animal.Isn't it just the cutest?!

The Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is also called the Toddycat for its apparent fondness for the fermented fruits of palm trees, the same fruits used to make the alcoholic drink called 'toddy'.

The Toddycat and Palm leaf is part of the logo of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) at the National University of Singapore.
From the write up about the Toddycat and Palm leaf in the logo...

"Commonly residing in roofs of houses, gardens and parks, they travel between houses via telephone wires, poles and trees. Often mistaken for cats or rats in the roof, Toddy eats flesh and fruit with equal gusto.

Seven of the eight species of world's palm civets are found in Southeast Asia. They are secretive and elegant animals residing in the threatened forests of Asia, and even now, we know very little about them!"

Indeed, the Toddycat is regularly spotted on Pulau Ubin. And once, it was also spotted on the Chek Jawa boardwalk! We were really lucky though to be able to get a photo of this shy animal.

The Toddycats is also the name of the volunteers at RMBR! Here is the really delightful mascot of the volunteers...
Wow, what a great ending to a really wet day!

Kevin also got a shot of the Toddycat, see his nature spies blog

1 comment:

kungfubunny said...

aieeeee zomg so cuuuuteeee aaahhh!!!!