13 No 3
Is that a crocodile or a monitor lizard?
Special projects to Understand Nature (SUN Club)
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Sungei Buloh
The Kranji Countryside: Singapore's very own countryside
Migration monitoring at Prince Edward Point BIrd Observatory, Ontario, Canada
Selai Endau Rompin Johor National Park
A feathered friend from Thailand
Many who have visited Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve could have mistaken a monitor lizard for a crocodile.
One of the most commonly seen reptiles in the Wetland Reserve is the Malayan Water Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator). This reptile is often mistaken for an estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), which is also found in the Wetland Reserve.
Compared to the monitor lizards, crocodiles are rarely sighted. That has changed recently as one particular crocodile has chosen to be a special attraction. Often seen with its eyes just peering out of the water surface, this crocodile has established its territory along Sungei Buloh Besar (the main river of the Wetland Reserve). It is often seen swimming under the Main Bridge, and on occasions crosses overland to the brackish water ponds to thermo-regulate (cooling down or warming up).
If you do come across a crocodile along the route or are not sure of the identity of the animal, remain calm and back away slowly. Do not try to walk pass it or get close for a photograph. Note that these animals are wild and have a reputation for being aggressive.
Crocodile warning signs have been posted at various parts of the Wetland Reserve where they are most often spotted. For your own safety, please heed these warning signs.
You can report crocodile sightings to our information counter staff. Take note of the location, date, time and number of crocodiles seen. The information will help us monitor and track the crocodiles’ movements.
References Cox, M.J., Paul van Dijk. P., Nabhitabhata, J. and Thirakhupt, K., 1998. A Photographic Guide to Amphibians and other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. New Holland.
Lim, K. K.P and Francis L K Lim, F. L. K, 1992. A Guide to The Amphibians and other Reptiles of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre.
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