A big tree-dwelling gliding mammal? In Singapore?
Yeah, we didn’t know anything about it either, until now!
Introducing…. the Colugo!This Colugo was sitting on a tree near the entrance to the MacRitchie reservoir hiking track… on a Sunday! We were really surprised to see one in such a busy location, however no-one seemed to notice it (except for us drawing attention). It was right beside the open water of the reservoir, only a few meters from ground level.
It makes an interesting shape on the tree, like a big piece of bark. It is quite large, but extremely well camouflaged… we would never have noticed it if we didn’t know what to look for! Many people, including locals, have never heard of this animal, and most people at MacRitchie walked straight past it.
Cool Colugo Facts:
- The Colugo is also known as a ‘Flying Lemur’, or ‘Malayan Colugo’. There is also a Phillipine species. It is a nocturnal mammal.
- It has long limbs and a tail, all connected by folds of skin that allow it to glide large distances between the trees. It even has webbing between its fingers and toes.
- It is shy and solitary, eating leaves, sap, flowers and fruit.
- Their babies are born very small and must cling folded up in the mother’s flight membranes, almost like a marsupial. They are not fully grown until two or three years old!
- They are threatened by habitat destruction. They need mature forests with canopy cover to live in. Sometimes they are also hunted.
This was the second time we have spotted one in Singapore. The first time was at Bukit Timah nature reserve. There was a sign at the entrance of the track describing it, and we were lucky enough to spot one in a dark and quiet part of the walk. Ever since then we always look out for them.
Singapore might be hot and humid outside (especially this time of year), but you can’t deny the refreshing energy of being out in the jungle. There is always the chance to see something new if you keep your eyes open! Go out into the fresh green air and enjoy the adventure!
Here’s the link to the MacRitchie Reservoir website if you want to go colugo spotting for yourself and here are some other links with some more info and pictures about the cool colugo.