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2001-14: Five otters in Buloh, Ubin Biking 2001, Briskwalkends/photos, field guides on sale online, new book on trees, Otterman articles

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  • N. Sivasothi
    ... Habitatnews 2001-14: Monday, 9th July 2001 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@egroups.com ... Current
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9, 2001
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      Habitatnews 2001-14: Monday, 9th July 2001
      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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      Contents

      1. Five otters seen on Pulau Buloh - a third cub?!
      2. Biking in Ubin 2001 - series begins this Sunday.
      3. Briskwalk 2001 series over; thanks to guides; photos on webpage
      4. BP/SSC Field guides also available on Popular online store
      5. New book - Trees of our Garden City
      6. Articles by Otterman - a print to web project by Ria Tan

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      ---> [1] Five otters seen in Sungei Buloh Nature Park
      <http://otter.nus.edu.sg>
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      Five otters were just sighted last week in SBNP. In all likelihood,
      it is the resident family of Smooth Otters with the latest addition
      to their family - a third cub!

      In November 1998, a pair of adult Smooth Otters were first seen in
      the park environs. This was then the first report of otter cubs on
      Singapore since the 1960's (apart from the family of Small-clawed
      otters on Pulau Tekong in the early 1990's) . I would subsequently
      receive several reports of this pair from R. K. Ramakrishnan, a
      park ranger at SBNP who had helped track records of otters in
      the park in the mid-90's.

      On 23rd and 24th May 1999, Tony O'Dempsey ('orang ular') calls in
      sightings of a cub accompanying the pair. A year later on 20th
      May 2000, I am alerted of the presence of a second cub by
      S. M. A. Rashid and Linda Goh. Nick Baker would finally provide
      photos, taken on 22nd August 2000.

      In the past few months, the family of otters have not been seen.
      This absence preceeding their re-emergence with a new cub is
      consistent for this family and the behaviour of the species
      elsewhere. We are now awaiting confirmation of this.

      Joseph Lai was lucky enough to see them this year, and yes,
      Joseph, we are eating our hearts out! Certainly good news!

      ---
      From: Joseph Lai
      Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 17:49:19 +0800
      Subject: Re: Otter sighting record

      Hi Siva,

      I saw a group of otters this afternoon at about 3pm hugging the
      shallow waters off Pu[lau] Buloh. Five to be exact -- three big ones
      and two small ones (juveniles). They were quite playful and chased
      some fishes around. I saw the young one eating a fish on the shore.
      He was quite inquisitive.

      Together with another, he ventured onto dry land in Pu Buloh and
      came out intermittantly, scrambling on the rotting branches on the
      ground.  When three of them started swimming a couple of feet
      northwards, they halted and called out to the two on the land. On
      hearing so, the two responded with their sharp cries and came out
      of Pu Buloh. Together they swam northwards to the open sea.

      What a wonderful sight to behold ! Guys... eat your heart out !

      Cheers,

      joe
       

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      ---> [2] Biking in Ubin 2001: three Sundays in July
      <http://biking.sivasothi.com/>
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      Three Sundays in July 2001.

      Join N. Sivasothi and friends of the Habitat Group for three rides
      on Sunday mornings at Pulau Ubin. Please email biking@...
      if you are intending to join us.

      Please read details at: <http://biking.sivasothi.com>

      Journey to the North: 9am - 12pm. Late start: Suitable for children.
      Journey to the West: 8am - 1pm. Weaker cyclists may return earlier.
      Journey to the East: 8am - 2pm. The most challenging ride.

      Note - allocate time for the ferry ride and choosing a bike. We will
      leave on time.
       

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      ---> [3] Briskwalk 2001 series over; photos on webpage
      <http://briskwalk.sivasothi.com/>
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      It was a good series with eventy-one of you turning up for the
      last walk. Thanks in particular to the safety and route guides
      who ensured a series of safe walks on Sunday mornings in June:
      Jaswant, Lynn, Min Yee, Debbie, Alvin, Airani, Angeline, Amy
      & Evelyn.

      Digital photos courtesy of Alvin Wong are up on the webpage.
      If your connection is not to slow, you can view the pictures
      as a QuickTime slideshow. Just tried that out ands it looks
      like a decent alternative for making galleries

      The walks took less than two hours, and some particpants asked
      if we were much faster than last year. Actually our route was
      a little shorter this year due to the presence of new Singapore
      Island Country Club's (SICC) course that lopped off a decent stretch
      of forest on their property.

      I promised some background so here goes: this was the site
      of a controversial fire, which was witnessed by members of
      the Nature Society (Singapore). SICC denied involvement,
      and an exchange in the papers led to the submission of a
      letter by Alan Owyong, "How is SICC being eco-friendly?"
      which was published in the Forum page of The Straits Times,
      on Wed 13th Jan 99 [Habitatnews 99-06].

      'In that letter, he points out that large tracts of secondary
      forest cleared earlier purportedly for a topographic survey, was
      later admitted to make it more convenient for members to tee off.'

      The next series of briskwalks will be in June 2002. You will be
      notified via this newsletter.
       

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      ---> [4] Field guides on sale at Popular Bookstore online
      http://store.yahoo.com/popular-sg/
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      While updating a links page for Habitatnews, this page was revealed:
      Popular online, via the Yahoo! Store facility. You can order many of
      the BP/Singapore Science Centre Books guides at:
      <http://store.yahoo.com/popular-sg/adult-sports-leisure-nature.html>

      This site thus joins MPH <http://www.mphonline.com> and Select Books <http://www.selectbooks.com.sg> in offering the BP/Singapore Science
      Centre Books online. Useful for those overseas.
       

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      ---> [5] New book: Trees of our Garden City
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      "Trees of our Garden City - A guide to the Common Trees of Singapore"
      'is a 202 page, soft cover A-Z guide to the trees that make the Garden
      City green. 17 x 24 cm. Published by National Parks Board and edited
      by Tee Swee Ping and Wee Mei Lynn, the book lists 80 trees and palms,
      all described and illustrated in first class photos showing the whole
      tree as well as close-ups of flowers and fruits.

      Available at Nature's Niche for S$33.

      -- source: Morten Strange.

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      ---> [6] Articles by Otterman, another print to web
              project by Ria Tan
      <http://http://staff.science.nus.edu.sg/~sivasothi/articles/mudskipper/>
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      Articles from my student days, published mainly in the Mudskipper.
      Some are related to natural history - leeches, penguins, Pulau Tekong,
      frogs and macaques. If you like the droll manner, you might find some
      of the other articles interesting as well.

      "...suspended up between two papaya trees. I needed a stick to
      knock down the fruit but he gave me a lecture on the weaknesses of
      papaya tree branches (while I hung on, sweating) before handing me
      the stick. I was quite upset, as you might understand, also since I
      was in a hurry for there was some doubt as to the legality of the
      entire proceeding."

      Some articles are awful, but I left the good the bad and the ugly up
      there. Exactly as Ria Tan had converted it  - yes, it is another
      Print to Web Project by Ria Tan <http://www.naturia.per.sg/>

      It was actually completed ages ago but we forgot about it. Expect
      more news on that front once we finish verification, yes she
      will be helping to provide of a couple more guidebooks online.

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