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5 Endangered Animals in Singapore | 新加坡:5种濒临绝种的动物

大家好,最近都还好吧!记得上次我在另外一篇文章提到新加坡万态野生动物世界的野生植物保护措施吗?如果还没读可以去读哦!今天,我们来讨论一个类似并且很常谈及的问题,即“在新加坡,有哪些动物正面临绝种的危机呢?”

新加坡虽是个蕞尔小国,但仍有不少动物以此为家。然而,近年来由于种种原因,有不少的动物在新加坡面临着绝种的危机。让我来分享5个面临绝种的动物吧!

Hey everyone! Remember the previous article on Mandai’s efforts in preserving the wildlife of Singapore? Well, if you haven’t read it, please do check it out! Today, let’s touch on a similar topic, “what animals are endangered in Singapore?”

Singapore may be a small country, but it is home to a vast variety of animals. However, due to many reasons, many animals are endangered. Let me share 5 animals which face extinction today!

Jocelyn Chinese Tuition Blog Post (Wildlife)

What are Endangered Animals? | 濒危物种

濒危物种这个词相信对于我们来说并不陌生,但它究竟是什么意思呢?让我们来进一步了解一番。

濒危物种,顾名思义是濒临危险的物种。当然,这样的解释太过于片面。仔细的说,这些物种都面临着绝种的危机。这里的物种可以指植物,也可以指动物。如前面所提到,新加坡虽小,却居住着许多物种,而在这里,我主要会讨论新加坡面临绝种的动物。其中就包括巽他穿山甲、玳瑁、江獭、椰子猫和湾鳄。为了让大家更了解这些动物,我也附上他们的照片哦。大家可以看看!

As the name suggests, endangered species are those that are facing crisis, or in this case, the danger of impending extinction. These species include plants and animals. Like what I mentioned earlier, though Singapore is a small country, many living things call her their home. Today, let us learn more about 5 animals which are endangered. 

#1: Sunda Pangolin | 巽他穿山甲

Jocelyn Chinese Tuition Blog Post (Wildlife)

第⼀位就是我们的老友巽他穿山甲。如果大家记得的话,它有出现在我刚才提到的篇章中哦!巽他穿山甲,也称食蚁兽,是一种很容易害羞,喜欢在夜晚出现,独来独往的动物。它们主要遍布于东南亚。目前,新加坡的巽他穿山甲位居新加坡中央集水区自然保护区和武吉知马天然保护区。

当巽他穿山甲受到威胁的时候,他们会将身体缩起来,变成一颗小小的球,还会散发出非常臭的味道来驱赶敌人。作为强壮的挖掘者,巽他穿山甲会在白蚁丘和蚂蚁巢穴附近挖出洞穴。这能够有效地帮助控制白蚁和蚂蚁的总数,还能帮忙松土,可谓是一举两得。

尽管巽他穿山甲对自然环境有贡献,它们仍面临绝种的危机。首先,巽他穿山甲的体型较小,很容易被来往的车辆撞倒。其次,随着城市化的发展,自然环境逐渐被一座座高楼大厦取代。这意味着居住在森林栖息地的巽他穿山甲将失去自己的家园,从而面临绝种的危机。最后,巽他穿山甲与其他穿山甲物种一样,因其皮肤、鳞片和肉而被猎杀,用于服装制造和传统医药。它们的鳞片会被制成戒指,而许多人也会食用这些他们认为富有营养价值的穿山甲。除此之外,巽他穿山甲的繁殖力非常低。因此,若要培育它们的后代,需花费很长的时间。

The first animal is actually our old friend, who has made an appearance in the previous article. The Sunda Pangolin, which in some places is also known as the Anteater. It’s shy, loves to explore in the shadows of the night, and is pretty much what we know as a “loner”. They are mostly found all around Southeast Asia. In Singapore, they can be found around the Central Water Catchment Area, as well as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

When this cute animal faces a threat, it turns into a ball, and may release a pungent smell to ward off any undesired guests trying to take a bite out of it. With its amazing digging abilities, they dig out any termites or ant nests, controlling the population of these natural pests. Additionally, the soil around these nests is also loosened, making it easier for plants to grow around it! What an amazing creature!

Despite its contributions to nature, these lone creatures are still endangered. Due to their naturally small sized body, they are easily killed in roadkill accidents. Besides this, as the development of urban areas starts to increase exponentially, the habitats of these animals are destroyed, and therefore they lose their homes. Lastly, like many scaled animals, the Sunda Pangolins are widely hunted for their skins, scales and meat for various purposes (E.g Their scales are used to make rings). To make things worse, the reproduction rate of these animals are really small, which makes it even harder for new generations to appear. Hence, the Sunda Pangolins are classified as extremely endangered in some cases.

#2:Hawksbill Turtles | 玳瑁

Jocelyn Chinese Tuition Blog Post (Wildlife)

第⼆位的名字较特别,叫玳瑁。可是别问我它的由来,因为我也不知道哈哈哈!玳瑁是⼀种海龟。但奇怪的是,它们并不喜欢深海,而是喜欢像珊瑚礁这种浅水地。它们是肉食者,所吃的食物包括水母、海葵、蝦蟹和海藻等海洋生物。它们大多遍布在广大的海域中,比如:大西洋和太平洋的热带地区。

大家可能会有疑问:新加坡的海域有玳瑁的存在吗?答案是有的。曾经有报章报道,有目击者在东海岸公园碰见玳瑁在岸上生蛋。玳瑁所面临的绝种危机有海水污染和非法贩卖等。当我们随手把塑料的垃圾扔进大海的时候,我们是在污染海洋。往往,海里的生物例如:玳瑁,会误把这些塑料制品当作水母,并把它们吞下肚,从而导致窒息。

不同于其他海龟,玳瑁的鳞甲像瓦片一样堆叠起来,非常好看,可是这却为它们带来灾难。一直以来,玳瑁都代表着长寿。所以,很多人都会因为玳瑁的美好寓意而用它们的鳞甲来制作首饰。但是,制作这种首饰必须从活的玳瑁上取下龟甲,才能保存玳瑁龟甲的美丽。这就是为什么玳瑁长期以来都遭受人类的捕杀。这导致它们的数量越来越少。所以,大家一定要记得,没有买卖就没有伤害。我们一定不能购买野生动物制品哦!

Hawksbill Turtles are a form of sea turtles, with the difference being that they actually dislike the deep seas. They prefer shallow waters like places where coral reefs exist. As carnivores, they eat jellyfishes, sea anemone, prawns, crabs and many more marine creatures. Found in the tropical region of the Atlantic and pacific oceans, these animals are one of those rarely seen!

Some may ask then, “Do they exist in Singapore?” Well, they supposedly do. There have been reports of sightings at East Coast Park, where people have seen these beautiful turtles come up shore to lay eggs. Unfortunately, like all the other animals in our list today, they are endangered. They face extinction due to problems like water pollution and illegal trading. What may seem as an act of convenience such as throwing plastic bags into the seas, is actually an act of water pollution. As a result, many animals like the Hawksbill Turtles mistreat these as jellyfishes, and swallow them, which causes death by suffocation in many cases.

Additionally, what makes this species of turtle different from other turtles, is its shell. Its shell is stacked beautifully like roof tiles we may see on landed properties, but this is also the very thing that brings about its demise. All along, many have seen these creatures as a symbol of longevity, which leads to many people using their shells and turning them into accessories. However, making these accessories would mean taking them from live Hawksbill Turtles, so as to keep them looking at their best. In the long run, when too many people kill these animals just for their shells, their population decreases, and they become endangered like they are today. Hence, please remember, without any purchase, there wouldn’t be any killings! Although it may be hard to make a difference solely, if there’s a chance to save even just one turtle, why not take it! 

#3:Smooth-Coated Otters | 江獭

Jocelyn Chinese Tuition Blog Post (Wildlife)

第三位就是我们可爱、呆萌的江獭! 江獭,因为其紧贴身体的毛十分平滑,也被人们称为平滑水獭。它们非常好玩,喜欢以群组的方式出行。江獭是新加坡的两种獭之一,也是东南亚最大的水獭。新加坡的江獭大多出现于双溪布洛湿地保护区、乌敏岛、西部集水区、樟宜等地方。

可是,近年来江獭却面临绝种的危机。其中的原因就包括湿地退化。湿地是江獭的主要居住环境。可当这些湿地被用于建设设施和引水等,它们就会被污染。这导致江獭无法继续在这些被污染的环境居住,也因此被迫“搬家”,而往往,在找寻“新家”的过程中,江獭会被车辆撞死,或被其他动物吃掉。江獭面临的另一个危机就是过度捕杀。就像开头提到的,江獭的外貌十分可爱。因此,有许多人萌生了把江獭当宠物养的念头。

要知道,水獭与一般的宠物如:小猫和小狗不同。它们是野生动物。这代表着如果要饲养水獭,就必须从大自然里寻找。随着饲养江獭当宠物的需求增加,非法水獭交易也逐渐增加。只要给到合适的价格,就会有专门的猎人和渔夫去野外抓取水獭宝宝。在过程当中,有些人会为了顺利抓捕水獭宝宝把成年水獭直接猎杀。随后,抓捕成功的水獭宝宝会被卖到全世界各地,变成人们眼中可爱到不得了的宠物。

Just by looking at you, these animals could possibly kill you with their cuteness! That’s right, they are the Smooth-Coated Otters. As their name suggests, they have a very smooth layer of fur on their bodies, which acts like a smooth coat. Playful by nature, they love to travel and explore in groups. In Singapore, they are one of the two types of otters that can be found, and are also the largest ones in Southeast Asia. If you hope to get a glance at them, they are noted to be seen at places like the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Pulau Ubin, Western Water Catchment Area, as well as Changi and many more places! 

Cute as they are, these poor animals are endangered, with one of the main causes being wetland degradation. Wetlands are one of the most common homes to these otters, but with many of these places being used to build machines and features requiring water, they become polluted in the process. This forces these animals to be “evicted” from their homes, and whilst finding new homes, they get killed in roadkills or get eaten by bigger predators from time to time. Another main causation to their endangerment is illegal hunting. As mentioned, they are very cute creatures. As such, people start to have thoughts of having them as pets, and this means that they need to be caught from the wild.

With such wants and demands increasing, illegal trading of these otters also increases. The moment they meet a price that they are willing to settle for, illegal hunters and even fishermen go to hunt the young of these otters. In the process, some are even willing to kill adult otters just to successfully catch the young ones. These poor young otters, who have then lost their families, are sold worldwide, just to satisfy the needs of selfish people who want to keep them just because they are cute. Hence, do remember, only take pictures of otters, and not take them home!

#4:Common-Palm Civets | 椰⼦猫

第四位就是椰子猫。说到猫,大家第一时间想到的可能是我们每次在组屋楼下看到的小猫咪吧。但其实,椰子猫并不是我们经常看见的小猫咪。实际上,椰子猫其实更接近于侏獴的一种动物。椰子狸是喜欢在夜晚出行,偶然也会在白天活动杂食动物。它们居住在树林、公园、甚至是楼顶,因为它们非常厉害攀爬。椰子猫主要分布海南和东南亚等地方。

在这里我想问大家一个问题:大家有没有听过或是喝过猫屎咖啡呢?很奇怪的名字吧。所谓的猫屎咖啡就是由椰子猫的粪便作为原料所生产的产品。椰子猫的主要食物是咖啡豆。被使用的咖啡豆在椰子猫胃里发酵后,会降低咖啡的苦涩味。由于咖啡豆不能被消化,它们会被排泄出来,经过清洗、烘培后就成了猫屎咖啡。我个人虽然没尝试过,但觉得这应该会是一杯很有味道的咖啡。

同样的,椰子猫也面临着绝种的危机,比如:非法猎捕和非人性化养殖。随着越来越多人认识猫屎咖啡,猫屎咖啡成为了风靡全球的咖啡饮品。许多咖啡农为了赚更多钱,非法抓捕野生的椰子猫并抓回家中人工饲养,为的就是产生更多冒失咖啡。这些咖啡农会把椰子猫关在小小的笼子,并且只让它们食用咖啡豆。通常,椰子猫会以昆虫和水果为食,但是咖啡农却让只喂椰子猫咖啡豆,导致它们营养不良,甚至会因为咖啡因的影响,让椰子猫出现精神异常的情况。时间长了,这些营养不良的椰子猫就是死亡。

Common-Palm Civets are actually not cats, but are often more closely related to mongooses. Like the pangolins, they like to explore in the night, but would come out occasionally in the day just to hunt. They live in forests, parks, and even rooftops due to their amazing climbing capabilities. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure where they could be found in Singapore, but they are mostly spread across Southeast Asia.

You may have heard of “Kopi Luwak”, or Cat Poop Coffee. These are actually made from the product of Common-Palm Civets. As they ingest mainly coffee beans, the beans ferment in their stomachs, making it less bitter. After this occurs, they pass it out due to it being indigestible. People then collect these “products”, wash them, bake them, and they become the widely known Kopi Luwak. Although I’ve not tasted it, I personally think that it seems to be a very “fragrant” cup of coffee.

With the increasing popularity of this interesting drink, endangerment has also hit these cat-like creatures. Illegal poaching and breeding of these animals are on the rise, just for their products to make this coffee. In order to make more money, many coffee farmers hunt them down in the wild, and bring them back to breed and care for in enclosed environments, just to make more coffee beans to sell. In these environments, they are often forced to stay in small cages, and are only fed coffee beans, which is different from the fruits and insects they are used to feeding on in the wild. As such, it causes them to become malnutritioned. Additionally, with the effect of overdosing on caffeine, it may lead to some bigger, more complex problems. All in all, these factors added up, are the cause of their death and endangerment. 

#5:Etuarine Crocodiles | 湾鳄

Jocelyn Chinese Tuition Blog Post (Wildlife)

第五位就是湾鳄。听说湾鳄是最接近恐⻰的生物,甚至有⼈说它是恐龙的后代。我其实并不太确定,但如果你知道相关的资料,记得留言让我知道哦!湾鳄,又称为盐水鳄鱼,有庞大的身体,体长平均为5米,是世界上最大的爬行动物。湾鳄喜欢水,通常会把家安在湖泊或河流附近的泥窝里。

由于它们的皮肤颜色较深,与泥土的颜色相近,所以很难会察觉到他们。成年后的湾鳄会捕食体形较大的动物,比如:龟、巨蜥和水鸟,有些甚至会捕食水牛、野猪和鲨鱼等动物。它们主要遍布在东南亚沿海至澳大利亚北部等地区。

尽管如此,身形庞大的湾鳄仍面临绝种的危机。首先就是居住环境被破坏。随着环境污染的问题逐渐严重,越来越多自然环境如:河流,受到了严重的污染。这些污染会破坏湾鳄的居住环境,导致它们“无家可归”。其次就是重量级猎捕。鳄鱼皮制品一直都被人们视为高贵的奢侈品。于是,在利益的驱动之下,越来越多人捕杀鳄鱼,导致不少鳄鱼面临灭绝的危机,其中就包括湾鳄。许多供应商为了为了获得完整的鳄鱼皮会选择虐待鳄鱼。他们会把鳄鱼按在了一张桌子上,由一个人切开鳄鱼的脖子,另一个人则破坏鳄鱼的神经组织,然后再把皮剥下来。整个过程十分残忍。之后,有些供应商甚至会把濒临死亡的鳄鱼扔回大自然,让它们自生自灭。

Fifth on our list is the Estuarine Crocodile. I heard that crocodiles are actually the closest living things to dinosaurs. Some even say they are the descendants of dinosaurs. I’m actually not really sure, but if you have some knowledge, do let me know down in the comments below! Estuarine Crocodiles, or more commonly known as Saltwater Crocodiles, are huge. They grow up to 5 meters in length, and are the largest known crawlers on earth. Crocodiles in general love water, and therefore settle down in lakes or rivers.

As their skins are dark coloured, highly resembling mud, it makes it hard to spot them. Adult crocodiles hunt down bigger prey such as turtles, salamanders, waders, or even water buffalos. Simply by the food they hunt, you can imagine how ferocious these creatures are! Well, they are mostly found in Southeast Asia and certain regions in Australia. 

However, no matter how big or ferocious these creatures are, they still can’t escape the danger of extinction. Their homes are being destroyed with more and more water pollution occurring in many natural spots. Like many endangered creatures, the moment they lose their homes, it makes it hard for them to survive alone out in the wild. Besides this, crocodile skin has always been used to make high-end leather goods. As such, many people hunt and poach crocodiles just for their skins. To emphasize on the cruelty, let me explain a little more. In order to get a perfect piece of skin, people place these crocodiles on a huge table, cut their throat and nerves, and skin them down. After which, they may even throw these crocodiles, who barely survive, back into the wild. Chances are, they won’t survive. Eventually, when more of such cases occur, they become endangered just like the way they are today. 

Conclusion | 总结

我们常说动物是人类最好的朋友。可是,当大家在读完这篇文章后,或许会发现大多数导致动物们面临绝种的危机其实都是人们造成的,如:环境污染和贩卖野生动物制品。虽然我们不能够像动物保护组织,直接帮助这些动物,但我们可以尽自己的能力去帮助它们。例如说:当我们在海边玩耍的时候,可以把垃圾扔进垃圾桶里,而不是为了方便把垃圾扔进大海里。除此之外,我们也可以通过不购买野生动物制品来帮助它们,毕竟没有买卖就没有伤害。这篇文章就写到这里,希望大家有更加了解这些动物和它们所面临的危机。我们下次见,拜拜!

We always say that animals are our best friends, but after reading this blog, after realising that many animals that are endangered are the result of our wrongdoings (like environmental pollution), it’s quite sad to see what has become of this “friendship”. Although we can’t protect and help them like animal organisations, we can still play a part in helping them the best we can. For example, simple acts like throwing the rubbish into an actual rubbish bin instead of the seas while at the beach may very well just save countless marine lives. We could also resist buying products made from wildlife, just like what I mentioned earlier. Today’s blog shall end here, and I hope you guys have a better understanding of animal extinction! See you next time, bye!

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