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2000-29: Crocs, otters, stamps, Geh Min, Green Map, Ubin Biking, SSC guidebooks, Sharks Fins, Email petitions, Escaped ape!

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  • N. Sivasothi
    ... Habitatnews 2000-29: Thursday, 31st August 2000 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@egroups.com ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2000
      2000-29: Crocs, otters, stamps, Geh Min, Green Map, Ubin Biking, SSC guidebooks, Sharks Fins, Email petitions, Escaped ape! --------------------------------------------------------------------
      Habitatnews 2000-29: Thursday, 31st August 2000
      The Habitat Group's Nature Information List
      To subscribe, email:
      habitatnews-subscribe@egroups.com
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      Current nature-related news busy Singaporeans might otherwise miss
      More information and archives at:
      http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg
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      Note: Newspaper links may expire in a week

      Happy National Day Malaysians!

      CONTENTS

      Crocs and Otters
      1. Crocs sighted in waters around Sungei Buloh Nature Park.
      2. Finally - some decent photos of the Buloh otters.
      3. Smooth Otters upstaged by western cousins on HSBC stamps.

      News and Events
      4. Introducing Dr Geh Min - NSS' new and first lady president.
      5. Green Map of Singapore - feedback invited.
      6. Biking in Ubin 2000 - Sundays in October.
      7. Science Centre Guidebooks 2000 - early October launch.

      Features
      8. Article - Dying Delicacy: SHARKS FINIS?
      9. Feature - Are E-Petitions any use? "China's Bile Bears"
      10. Orangutan Gets Loose in National Zoo, Washington DC
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      ---> [1] Crocs sighted in waters around Sungei Buloh
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      Park staff had apparently seen two animals and will put up signs
      warning the public. Well, its nothing to get too excited about,
      really. Wild crocodiles have maintained a scarce but continuous
      presence in our fresh and brackish waters over the decades.  Some
      weeks ago, crocs were apparently seen at Kranji Reservoir, when the
      overflow gates were opened to release excess water into the sea.

      At MacRitchie, you might see sign-boards explaining the difference
      between Monitor Lizards and Crocodiles. Once the public got wind of
      the presence of crocodiles, the humble monitor lizard, a fairly
      common creature, got regularly mistaken for his more foreboding
      cousin. At Sungei Buloh too, you are more likely to see the lizards!

      Note on names:
      Estuarine Crocodile - Crocydylus porosus Schneider, 1801
      Common Water Monitor - Varanus salvator (Laurentii, 1786)


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      ---> [2] Finally - some decent photos of the Buloh otters
      http://otter.nus.edu.sg/singapore/buloh.html
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      The otter family at Sungei Buloh Nature Park, which resurfaced after
      the birth of the second cub in May, has now been photographed by
      Nick Baker, a volunteer at the park. He has kindly shared the photos
      with us, so you too can get a glimpse of these relatively rare
      carnivores.


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      ---> [3] Disappointing depiction of Smooth Otters on
      the HSBC Wetland Wildlife Series of stamps
      http://www.singpost.com/WetlandWildlife.htm
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      You will not see an accurate depiction of our otters in the recent
      Wetland Wildlife Series of stamps, sponsored by HongKong and Shanghai
      Bank, and issued on 11 August 2000 by the Singapore Philatelic Bureau.
      Instead of native Smooth Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata), the artist
      has depicted a Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) and a Eurasian Otter
      (Lutra lutra) instead. Sigh! Couldn't Asian otters be depicted
      correctly in this day and age?

      This is symptomatic of what the new NSS president, Dr Geh Min
      warned recently, '...many school children are learning about nature,
      not by looking at what is around them, but by watching the Discovery
      Channel. "So they can identify bald eagles, which, of course, are
      not found anywhere in this area..."'
      (see next note).


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      ---> [4] Introducing Dr Geh Min - the new and first lady
      president of the Nature Society (Singapore)
      http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/NEWS/GehMin/gehmin.html
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      Lydia Lim's articles in the Straits Times (4 Aug) introduced NSS'
      new (and first) lady president. An active community worker, nature
      has now been added to her portfolio as well. The articles have been
      archived at the Habitatnews webpage.


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      ---> [5] Green Map of Singapore - feedback invited
      Electronic will eventually be posted on SEC webpage.
      Email Lim Soon Ching at: secnet@...
      Indicate in the subject line: "Green Map"
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      The Green Map of Singapore was launched on 4th June 200, 'lists the
      usual well-known nature spots and also places such as the Nature
      Niche bookshop, health food and vegetarian stores, high-tech farms,
      recycling points, and environmental groups' [Habitatnews 2000-22].

      Lea Wee's article is still available at: http://web3.asia1.com.sg/archive/st/0/life/life14_0604.html
      Fabian Chan's image that accompanied the map is available at:
      http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/EVENTS/Greenmap.pdf

      The SEC officer in charge of the project, Lim Soon Ching indicated
      that a revised version would be issued in future, and that feedback
      from members of the public would be useful. So for those of you who
      have spotted mistakes, email Soon Ching, and he can set it right.

      The map is available free - you can find it at tourist spots, hotels
      and nature areas. The electronic version of the map will eventually
      be posted at the SEC webpage.

      Thanks to Nature-Singapore Mailing List subscribers who prompted
      this enquiry.


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      ---> [6] Biking in Ubin 2000 - Sundays in October
      http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg
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      There will be a series of three rides in Pulau Ubin in October.
      Journey to the North: 1st Oct, 9am - 12pm. Suitable for children.
      Journey to the West: 8th Oct, 8am - 1pm. Early return for weak cyclists.
      Journey to the East: 15th Oct, 8am - 2pm. A slightly challenging ride.
      Inform me if you are going by emailing me at: ubinbiking@...

      Note: there will be no breakfast meeting earlier at Changi Village.
      The popular hawker centre will be undergoing renovations in October.
      Details and more information available at the webpage.


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      ---> [7] Science Centre Guidebooks 2000 - early October
      http://www.sci-ctr.edu.sg/ssc/publication/guides.html
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      The Singapore Science Centre with the support of BP, has been
      publishing two guidebooks each year. The 2001 guidebooks will be
      about molluscs and native plants of Singapore. The launch date is
      expected to be in mid-October 2000.


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      ---> [8] Dying Delicacy: SHARKS FINIS? by ANDY HO
      The Straits Times Interactive, Sunday 27th August 2000
      http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/analysis/cpe1_0827.html
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      In case you missed the debate, read this article at the very least.
      'The month-long Save The Shark Campaign in Singapore ended last
      Sunday, but the controversy continues to simmer. Will the
      consumption of shark's fin soup really lead to the extinction of
      the shark? Or is it just a bogey? ANDY HO goes fishing for
      the answers.'


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      ---> [9] Are E-Petitions any use? A case in point -
      "China's Bile Bears"
      http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/weekly/aa082800a.htm
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      Some of you may have realised that the email address to which the
      petition was to be sent was not functioning. How many checked? The
      hoax-busting Urban Legends website deals with the issue this week.

      'Hyperbole aside, the gist of this message is accurate. So what's
      wrong with signing it and forwarding it along?  To put it bluntly,
      email petitions are a waste of time and resources. They don't work.
      With rare exceptions, they simply can't."
      --- David Emery, Urban legends at About.com


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      ---> [10] Orangutan Gets Loose in National Zoo, Washington DC
      Source: AP/JENNIFER ANDES, Associated Press Writer,
      clari.living.animals (newsgroups), Wed, 30 Aug 2000
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      WASHINGTON (AP) -- An orangutan climbed down a 40-foot tower onto
      the grounds of the National Zoo Tuesday despite low-voltage wires
      designed to prevent the apes from getting loose. No one was injured,
      although several hundred visitors were at the zoo at the time, said
      Bob Hoage, a zoo spokesman. Visitors were ushered away from Junior,
      the 34-year-old orangutan, as a precaution.

      "He's a calm animal, not particularly aggressive, but he's very
      strong," Hoage said.

      Junior climbed down from what the zoo calls its O-Line, a series of
      eight towers and cables the orangutans use as an aerial exercise.
      Low-voltage wires near the top of each tower are supposed to keep
      the orangutans from climbing down the towers and onto the zoo grounds.

      Junior apparently endured the shocks as he climbed down, Hoage said.
      Officials are not sure why Junior descended. One possibility is that
      the low-voltage shocks left him so confused, disoriented or upset
      that he just wanted to get down, Hoage said. Zoo keepers watch the
      orangutans every time they use the O-Line and were moving visitors
      away from the area before Junior even reached the ground, he said.

      Junior was loose for about 25 minutes and wandered about 200 feet
      until a veterinarian shot him with a tranquilizer dart. Zoo officials
      intend to study the design of the O-Line to determine whether any
      changes might be needed.        
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