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No. 2001-27: Sungei Buloh and Labrador - two new protected areas announced by Minister for National Development

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  • N. Sivasothi
    ... Habitatnews 2001-27: Saturday, 10th November 2001 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 10, 2001
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      Habitatnews 2001-27: Saturday, 10th November 2001
      The Habitat Group's Nature Information List
      To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      Current nature-related news busy Singaporeans might otherwise miss
      More information and archives at: <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg>
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      Contents

      Mr Mah Bow Tan, the Minister for National Development, announces
      two new legally protected nature areas in Singapore: Sungei Buloh
      and Labrador on Saturday, 10th November 2001.
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/news/SBNPlaunch-10Nov2001/
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      Fresh from the election trail, Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National
      Development, accepted the congratulations of the audience for the
      convincing victory at Tampines GRC.

      He then went on to delight the crowd with a historical announcement
      of two new legally protected nature areas in Singapore: Sungei Buloh
      and Labrador

      The two existing legally protected nature areas are Bukit Timah and
      the Central Catchment.

      Riding the MRT back home later, Subaraj Rajathurai pointed out that
      these are our the first nature areas to be legally protected since
      independence.

      They are also the first inter-tidal areas, a mangrove and a rocky
      shore. This is an exciting indication that the government has
      recognised the diversity of tropical ecosystems.

      The announcement is a reward to the many unnamed and hard-working
      souls in the National Parks Board and organisations such as the
      Nature Society (Singapore), the universities and private
      individuals who have quietly struggled over the years to see this day.

      The Channel 5 news of 9,30pm the same night reported the minister as
      saying, "Places like Sungei Buloh are national treasures that
      inspire a sense of identity and rootedness amongst Singaporeans."

      That morning, as the Minister finished his speech, I started sending
      out SMS' to friends. A former parks officer called to ask in disbelief,
      "Eh, Siva, so good, ah?"

      I guess we will be talking about this for some time to come...

      Look out for more updates in future issues of Habitatnews.
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
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      <http://www.ecologyasia.com/Top-Level/eco-news.htm>
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    • N. Sivasothi
      ... Habitatnews 2001-28: Saturday, 16th November 2001 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 16, 2001
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Habitatnews 2001-28: Saturday, 16th November 2001
        The Habitat Group's Nature Information List
        To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Current nature-related news busy Singaporeans might otherwise miss
        More information and archives at: <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg>
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Contents

        The Singapore Science Announces a new permanent exhibition,

        "THE WEB OF LIFE"

        and kicks off with a series of nature talks
        --------------------------------------------------------------------

        As part of the Singapore Science Center's revamp of its exhibitions,
        the Centre will be opening a new, permanent life science exhibition.

        Called Web of Life - this 600 sq. metre exhibition area highlights the
        Biodiversity of Life and focuses on the various interactions and
        adaptations for survival found in nature. The intricate balance of
        nature and its surroundings that we focus on will amaze the curious
        observer.

        Comprising of 6 main areas, the highlights of the exhibition
        include:-

        Diversity all around - An artistic introduction to the great Diversity of
        Life, which begins with the earliest life-forms, on earth and brings us
        to the enormous variety of present day plants and animals that nature
        has to offer.

        Home - Get up close and personal with some of the creatures and creepers
        that share our homes with us. Macoy, the rat with an attitude, will take
        you on a virtual tour of his home!

        Rainforest - An expedition into the ancient and complex rainforest could
        bring you face to face with a giant chameleon, live honeybees and even
        animal eating plants!

        Mangrove - You don't have to get stuck in the mud to learn why mangroves
        are important ecosystems to preserve. Match birds with their beaks and
        even see the infamous mudskipper fish that spends most of its time on
        land!

        Ocean - Beneath the waves, marine plants and animals have adapted many
        strategies to stay alive. Take the hands-on challenge and find out how
        fish stay afloat, what lives in deep sea vent communities and lots more!

        Hot Topics - Get up to date with current breakthroughs and important issues
        that affect our lives and the living things around us.

        To kick start this exhibition we are bringing to you a series of
        nature talks, including one nature trail to a mangrove area:

        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        1. Chek Jawa
        18 November 2001: 2.30pm - 3.30pm
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Free for Members
        Non-members - Science Centre admission charges apply
        Venue: Teaching Lab
        Age Group: 7 yrs and above

        A natural haven comprising of coastal forest, sandy beaches, mangrove and
        sandflat - quietly tucked away at the east most corner of Pulau Ubin. Listen
        and learn about stick insects, flying dragons, sea anemones, nudibranches,
        stingrays and lots more! The speaker is Joseph Lai, 41, Singaporean, an
        ardent naturalist, and father of an eight year old boy.


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        2. Responsible Pet Care
        25 November 2001: 2.30pm - 3.30pm
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Free for Members
        Non-members - Science Centre admission charges apply
        Venue: Teaching Lab
        Age Group: 7 yrs and above

        Keeping a pet can be a fun and rewarding experience but should everyone have
        a pet? Why is it so important to think carefully about getting a pet? What
        do I have to do for my pet? How long will pets live? Explore the answers to
        these and many more. The speaker is Ms. Sherry Nee, Animal Welfare Education
        Officer at the Centre for Animal Welfare and Control, Agri-food and
        Veterinary Authority.

        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        3. Evolution of the Ant-Plant Symbiosis
        2 December 2001: 2.30pm - 3.30pm
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Free for Members
        Non-members - Science Centre admission charges apply
        Venue: Teaching Lab
        Age Group: 7 yrs and above

        Ant-plant symbioses have evolved in a diversity of tropical plant lineages.
        The Old World tree genus Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) includes ~300 species.
        Twenty-six west Malesian species of Macaranga have symbiotic associations
        with ants. This talk will cover the origins and diversification of
        ant-plant association. The speaker is Dr. Shawn Lum.


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        4. Animals of Singapore Tour
        9 December 2001: 1.30pm - 6.00pm
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Fee: $8 (per member), $23 (non-member, incl. SSC Individual membership)
        Venue: Teaching Lab & Sungei Buloh
        Age Group: 7 yrs and above

        Be introduced to the wealth of native fauna, mammals, reptiles, etc that
        can be found in Singapore. Discover many secret vertebrates, some even just
        recently discovered. It's a surprise to discover the diversity of animals
        still able to survive in our urban environment with its small wilderness
        areas. The speaker is Mr. Subaraj Rajathurai a renowned nature consultant
        and guide here in Singapore.

        The talk is complimented with a nature walk to Sungei Buloh.

        Please pre-register by emailing to scmember@..., fax at 565 9533
        or call Jane/Vien at 425 2543.


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        5. Sharks in Danger
        16 December 2001: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Free for Members
        Non-members - Science Centre admission charges apply
        Venue: Teaching Lab
        Age Group: 7 yrs and above

        What is the first thing that pops into your mind when I mention the word
        'SHARK'? Jaws? Human slayers? The ultimate killing machine? Quite possibly,
        but, grossly inaccurate and prejudicial. The aim of this shark talk is to
        draw a more complete and accurate picture of what sharks are really like in
        the wild. We will be looking into the different of kinds of sharks there
        are, and their importance in the up-keep of our marine environment. Last,
        but not least, the talk will explore the threats that are pushing this
        prehistoric animal to the very verge of extinction. Let the speaker, Mr
        Victor Wu, tell you more about what we can do to protect the shark from
        extinction.


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        6. What is a Natural Beach?
        16 December 2001: 2.30pm - 3.30pm
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Free for Members
        Non-members - Science Centre admission charges apply
        Venue: Teaching Lab
        Age Group: 7 yrs and above

        Can a natural beach be found in Singapore? To the naturalist, the
        answer is obvious. A natural beach is indeed one full of natural
        wonders. But Surprise! Surprise! One has been discovered recently in
        Singapore. The speaker is Mr. Joseph Lai.


        ---> Source: Sharlene Anthony, Singapore Science Centre
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      • N. Sivasothi
        ... Habitatnews 2001-29: Friday, 30th November 2001 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 30, 2001
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Habitatnews 2001-29: Friday, 30th November 2001
          The Habitat Group's Nature Information List
          To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Current nature-related news busy Singaporeans might otherwise miss
          More information and archives at: <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Contents

          1. A young Malayan Pangolin roadkill near NTU, 9 Nov 2001.
          2. Talk on Waterlilies tomorrow by Director of Kew Gardens
          3. "Pulau Ubin: Ours to Treasure" - discounted price of S$35
          4. "Snakes in Thailand" - new book available
          5. Singapore Heritage Mailing List
          6. Nature Watch is now online!
          7. Story about the huge pirachu, the largest freshwater fish
          8. Article on the World Fish Centre

          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [1] A young Malayan Pangolin roadkill near NTU, 9 Nov 2001.
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          A Mr Lim Meng Meng, an NTU student called us at the Raffles Museum
          of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) on Friday 9th November. Eventually
          talking to Research Officer Darren Yeo, he said he was returning
          to his hostel at 2am that day when he saw a "freshly hit" pangolin
          on the road, still bleeding from the head.

          He and friends moved it to the side of the road and called us
          that afternoon. We drove down to Nanyang Avenue just off Jalan
          Bahar to collect the carcass, and thankfully the ENV cleaners
          hadn't got to it first. I had lost one to them near Arcadia Road
          on 13th January 1999 [Habitatnews 99-05], and the memory rankles,
          obviously. I update some comments I wrote then:

          'The Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica), is a toothless,
          scale-covered, insect eating mammal, also known as the
          Scaly Anteater (Family Pholidota). It is an uncommon mammal,
          listed in the Singapore Red Data Book, and is found in the
          Central and Western Catchment areas and elsewhere in scrubland.
          Termites are part of its diet, and it has strong claws which
          can dig into the hardened mounds.'

          Free-roaming individuals are encountered curled up in hollows
          at the Singapore Zoological Gardens which is adjacent to the
          Central Catchment Area (CCA). Zoo staff Suresh Pillai says he
          advises visitors to leave them be. They are notoriously
          difficult to maintain in captivity.

          In August this year, Kate Thome alerted me of a live animal
          in someone's backyard near the CCA. Benjamin Lee of NParks
          picked it up the young male and had it sent to "the zoo for
          a health check and microchip scan" before release back into
          nearby forest.

          Shawn Lum and Vilma D'Rozario of NTU wrote prophetically for
          their campus newspaper in May this year and said "it is
          believed that an isolated population of pangolins occurs in
          the Western Catchment adjoining NTU. This means that with
          more of the forest being cleared, and pangolin habitat
          disturbed, you may see a pangolin ambling down Jalan Bahar
          one of these days."

          "If you spot a wayward pangolin, you can do your bit to help
          Nature by catching the harmless and gentle, if somewhat
          odiferous, animal, and then notifying the Singapore Zoological
          Gardens (contact Dr Paolo Martelli at 9679-4110 or Usha at
          269-3411). Zoo staff will run a health check and deworm the
          displaced pangolin, imbed a microchip for monitoring purposes,
          and then arrange to have the animal returned to an environment
          more salubrious than a major thoroughfare. Be sure to place
          the animal gently into a sturdy box ­ with airholes, of course
          ­ lest you find that it has taken a tour of your home, office, or
          automobile."

          If, however, you are less fortunate and encounter a roadkill
          instead, please call the Raffles Museum at 874-5082 and leave
          your name and contact number for me, Sivasothi. We will attempt
          to recover the body, or at the very least the skull, for
          preservation in the museum. This sort of record is valuable.
          If you can bring it in, please do so, and the map to the museum
          is at: <http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/RMBR.JPG>

          You have to be quick in calling us in the morning, for ENV
          cleaners are usually active from 6am. The nocturnal pangolin
          is more likely encountered at night and if killed by a car,
          is likely to be cleared away the next morning.

          But don't get carried away, especially if you are on the BKE.
          It is more important that you complete your journey safely than
          spot roadkills.

          The specimen is now in one of our freezers. It will be dissected
          to remove the internal organs for preservation in alcohol, for
          DNA studies in future . The whole animal will be preserved by
          immersion in formalin and later alcohol. The animal may later
          be displayed in the RMBR Public Gallery to inform visitors on
          the presence of pangolins in our western catchment and the
          importance of reporting in roadkills.

          Previously I had written about migratory Blue-winged Pittas
          bashing their heads into glass panes at the zoo (October 2001),
          a leopard cat roadkill sent in to the museum (June 2001) and a
          5-day old dugong carcass from which we recovered the skull
          (July 2001) [Habitatnews No. 2001-15 and 2001-26].

          Yes, Singapore is full of surprising wildlife, and when you
          encounter an unfortunate wild animal that has met with an
          untimely demise, please call us. We'll try to make a dash for
          it and convert it into a valuable record that remains with the
          museum for as long as it is standing. Having lasted more than
          100 years, it's not an idle promise.

          But if you encounter the rare sight of an animal in its natural
          habitat, simply enjoy your encounter with nature, and be thankful
          for the forest that is its home.


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [2] "Waterlilies: The Present and Future of Ancient Flowers"
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          by Prof. Peter Crane.
          the Director of Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, England,

          Date: Saturday 1st Dec: 4-5 PM
          Venue: The Auditorium, RELC International Hotel
          near Shangrila Hotel (Refreshment follows)

          Abstract - Waterlilies are among the most widely cultivated and
          most distinctive of all flowering plants. Culturally, they have
          figured prominently in the decorative arts of both ancient and
          modern civilisations.

          Today, our scientific understanding of waterlilies suggests that
          they are a group of great antiquity that are key in understanding
          many aspects of plant evolution. It is also clear that as the
          wetland habitats that they occupy are modified by human activity
          waterlilies are becoming scarce in the wild, raising questions
          about how these most ancient of plants may be best conserved for
          the future.


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [3] "Pulau Ubin: Ours to Treasure" - offer price of S$35
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zeehan Jaafar recently organised a talk by Chua Ee Kiam for the
          Biodiversity & Ecology Journal Club about Chek Jawa, see
          <http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/BDJC>. The distributor his book "Pulau
          Ubin: Ours to Treasure" came for the talk and extended the audience
          an offer at the discounted rate of S$35 per book.

          They have extended their offer and Zeehan has volunteered to
          collate purchases. Just arrange to provide her with your name and
          contact and the money by 15th December.

          Contact her at <scip1157@...> or call her at 9657-7124.
          The book was launched in January 2001 and usually retails for $39.90

          --- thanks Zeehan!


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [4] "Snakes in Thailand", new book
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          'The lay-out and presentation of this new book is much like the
          best-selling Amphibians of Thailand, but this is a more
          comprehensive volume dealing with many more species.
          Amarin Publishing, 320 pages, hard cover, 2001. S$25.90.

          Much of the text is in Thai, but names and some explanations are
          in English. Also, there is a useful set of icons at each species
          entry showing distribution, habits and status. Illustrated
          throughout with close-up photographs.'

          --- Source: Morten Strange, Nature's Niche

          I guess language never got in the way of a well illustrated book
          with scientific (Latin) names. You should see my collection of
          Taiwanese books!

          Bee Choo and Morten revamped their webpage some time ago.
          See <http://www.naturesniche.com>


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [5] Singapore Heritage Mailing List
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Chua Ai Lin is the 'list administrator for the singaporeheritage
          mailing list. Affiliated to the Singapore Heritage Society, members
          of the society have been interested in Ubin for some time now, and
          are following the updates on Chek Jawa.

          The mailing list contains announcements and occasionally discussions
          about local heritage, history and conservation matters.'
          See <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/singaporeheritage>
          All are invited and traffic is low.

          They also have a webpage at: <http://www.singaporeheritage.net>

          Source: Chua Ai Lin (mainly).


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [6] Nature Watch is now online!
          <http://www.nss.org.sg/new/watch.html>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Nothing beats sitting back and slowly picking through the pages of
          your latest magazine subscription. I have always looked forward to
          Nature Watch since it always contains surprises. And some issues,
          like the Pulau Ubin special, are always referred by researchers.

          But finding my issues can be a problem and sometimes I do not get
          them back. Well now, back issues of this colourful magazine are
          now online. A vehicle of the Nature Society (Singapore), the online
          version is the result of another "print to web" project by Ria Tan.


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [7] "A fish, a river and a man" by John Vidal
          A fishy tale abut the huge pirachu of the Amazon, the largest
          freshwater fish in the world.
          <http://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2001/11/27/features/fis
          htale&sec=features>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          "Mafra is married to Dina, who thinks he is mad because he is in
          love with the pirarucu. His grand passion started when ... he
          [realised he] would never make a great pirarucu hunter because
          he was a lousy harpoonist and could never catch the fish they call
          ³the big red one²...."


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [8] The World Fish Centre, formerly ICLARM, in Penang, Malaysia
          "Where science and economics meet" by MOZART A.T. PASTRANO
          The Star Online, Tuesday, November 27, 2001
          <http://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2001/11/27/features/mpf
          ish1b&sec=features>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------

          'An hour¹s effort of fishing in the Gulf of Thailand, now yields
          almost 16kg of fish compared to more than 140kg in 1966. Out of 200
          fished stocks in all parts of the world, only a little more than
          33% can produce more.'

          The newly inaugurated World Fish Centre in Penang, formerly called the
          International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management, has been
          actively searching for solutions for the past 24 years. It opened its
          headquarters in Batu Maung, Penang, recently.

          Together with its over 300 partner organisations worldwide, the
          centre has pioneered improved breeds of tropical food fish (such as
          the Nile tilapia), developed methods to assess and better manage
          complex tropical fisheries and the health of reefs, applied
          technologies which integrate aquaculture into existing agriculture
          systems, developed the culture of high-value coral reef species
          by village farmers, and researched new practices for the sustainable
          management of small-scale fisheries. The centre has also developed
          global databases, including one on the world¹s fishes and another
          for coral reefs.


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          For monthly news compilations, see Ecology Asia at:
          <http://www.ecologyasia.com/Top-Level/eco-news.htm>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Donate a cup of food to the hungry? Visit <www.hungersite.com>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
        • N. Sivasothi
          ... Habitatnews 2001-30: Thursday, 6th December 2001 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 6, 2001
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            Habitatnews 2001-30: Thursday, 6th December 2001
            The Habitat Group's Nature Information List
            To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            Current nature-related news busy Singaporeans might otherwise miss
            More information and archives at: <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg>
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            Contents

            1. Channel U's "Inside Out" to feature Chek Jawa this Sunday
            2. Chek Jawa update?
            3. A dead Cinnamon Bittern at the SAF Ferry Terminal
            4. Happy Birthday Sungei Buloh Nature Park!
            5. World's Smallest Reptile Discovered in Caribbean
            6. BadTrans.B - fixes for this PC virus present in you

            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            ---> [1] Channel U's "Inside Out" feature on Chek Jawa this Sunday
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            "Inside Out" is a Mandarin current affairs programme about issues in
            Singapore hosted by Guo Liang every Sunday at 9:30pm on Channel U.
            The programme this Sunday will feature Chek Jawa.

            Someone has suggested that it may be possible to phone in to give
            your views on these issues, but this is unconfirmed.

            --- Source: M. K. Tan (research writer at Mediaworks)
            & Chim Chee Kong


            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            ---> [2] An update of Chek Jawa
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            Several of you have been writing in, asking for an update. Many have
            been kept away from Chek Jawa, as a result of the impending
            reclamation, monsoon storms of this period, the danger of lightning
            strikes on the flats, and descriptions earlier this month
            of mud-churned roads and queues at Ubin jetty to get back to Changi.


            Well, I can say that Chek Jawa has survived the dreaded month of
            November. Despite the ominous presence of a large bright orange buoy
            offshore, none of the usual pre-reclamation activity or objects such as
            dredges have been seen.

            The more optimistic amongst us remain hopeful at this point. And
            are still contributing efforts in various ways: signing books of
            remembrance, creating and maintaining webpages, putting up
            exhibitions, conducting talks, writing articles and submitting
            proposals. These two pages summarise some of these efforts:
            <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/news/chekjawa/peoplesay.htm>
            <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/news/chekjawa/whatdone.htm>

            In the meantime, guides at Chek Jawa have had to dissuade
            members of the public from collecting. 'Marine creatures'
            they say, are difficult to maintain, and will inevitably die,
            decompose and stink up the place. Surely no way to remember
            Chek Jawa? Enjoy life as it appears in these shores, and
            refrain from keeping a false memory of it back home.'

            Instead, take photos with your finds and family, and make your
            space on the web. The Chek Jawa homepage has a recent addition
            to the family of webpages. "Protect Chek Jawa" by Chim Chee Kong
            has beautiful pictures, see: <http://chimck.tripod.com/chekjawa/>

            Here he urges, "Be Responsible - Look where you step and avoid
            trampling on the animals and plants. Put back the life where you
            found it, there is a reason why it was under a rock or inside a
            puddle of water. Please do not collect live animals. They will die
            under your care (or the lack of it) and will stink up your whole
            room. Give yourself and others a chance to enjoy looking at these
            beauties in future visits."

            Happily, the majority of visitors have displayed a natural
            sympathy to Chek Jawa and have refrained from collecting. Several
            of you have brought others and guided them well. A sign by NParks
            has appeared recently, and urges against collections of plants
            and animals. They suggest instead that we allow others to enjoy
            the beauty of Chek Jawa.


            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            ---> [3] A dead bird, a Cinnamon Bittern, at the SAF Ferry Terminal
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            NParks officers who were at SAF Ferry Terminal at Nicoll Drive
            this morning happened upon a dead Cinnamon Bittern in the canteen.
            The specimen has been deposited at the Raffles Musuem of
            Biodiversity Research.

            Bitterns are birds famous for striking an upright position, with neck
            extended and beak pointing upwards, when confronted by a predator.
            A bird rescued by a friend some years ago did exactly that in her
            living room, swaying slightly, as if surrounded by reeds!


            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            ---> [4] Happy Birthday Sungei Buloh Nature Park!
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            The park has survived eight years since its official opening by the
            Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong. Okay, okay, it has done more than
            survive. Recent news has declared it be a Nature Reserve!
            <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/news/SBNPlaunch-10Nov2001/>

            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            ---> [5] World's Smallest Reptile Discovered in Caribbean
            Penn State Univ. Press Release, 3rd December 2001
            <http://www.science.psu.edu/alert/Hedges11-2001.htm>
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            'The second world's smallest lizard has been discovered on a tiny
            Caribbean island off the coast of the Dominican Republic. At 16mm,
            the dwarf gecko _Sphaerodactylus ariasae_ is also the smallest of
            the Earth's 23,000 species of reptiles, birds and mammals.

            Believed to exist only on Beata Island and nearby areas in the
            Dominican Republic's Jaragua National Park, small groups were
            discovered living in a sink hole and a cave in a partially
            destroyed forest.

            It shares the title of world's smallest lizard with another
            lizard species named _Sphaerodactylus parthenopion_, discovered
            in 1965 in the British Virgin Islands.'

            High-resolution images of the lizard and other images are
            available at: <http://www.science.psu.edu/alert/Hedges11-2001.htm>


            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            ---> [6] BadTrans.B - a virus several of you are infected with
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            I have received mail from several of you, only to see just "Re:"
            in the subject line, and an attachment that I do not open!
            The About Guide to Antivirus Software (Tue 4 Dec 2001)
            <http://antivirus.about.com> desdcribes The BadTrans.B virus -
            "Often arriving with a subject line of Re: and nothing else, the
            BadTrans.B worm can autolaunch itself onto your system using the
            one of the same vulnerabilities exploited by the Nimda worm."

            Several of are infected with this. I use a Macintosh and am
            relatively immune to most PC viruses. Even so, I keep both my
            anti-virus programmes automatically updated and run regular
            checks. Nothing fatal in all this, but it is time a few of you
            do so as well!

            In the meantime, please see:
            BadTrans.B disinfection instructions at:
            <http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/bt_b_dis.shtml>

            and read about it at:
            "BadTrans.B Detection and Removal" by Mary Landesman
            <http://antivirus.about.com/library/weekly/aa112401a.htm>
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            For monthly news compilations, see Ecology Asia at:
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          • N. Sivasothi
            ... Habitatnews 2001-31: Thursday, 20th December 2001 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 20, 2001
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              Habitatnews 2001-31: Thursday, 20th December 2001
              The Habitat Group's Nature Information List
              To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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              Current nature-related news busy Singaporeans might otherwise miss
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              Contents

              Hi everyone,

              The Ministry of National Development (MND) has issued some
              wonderful news today. Chek Jawa has been granted a reprieve!
              The press release is listed below in full.

              The existence of Chek Jawa was a sudden revelation, and many
              Singaporeans first saw the site only in late 2001. Yet at
              the 11th hour, the government has announced that reclamation
              plans first described in the URA Concept Plan of 1991 are
              now being deferred to consider 'how best the marine life there
              can be protected'.

              The MND acknowledged groups and individuals who had provided
              'detailed and insightful feedback' and I can at least offer
              thanks to the numerous untiring souls I know of such as
              Joseph Lai, Ria Tan, members of the Nature Society (Singapore)
              and staff, students and volunteers of the National
              University of Singapore.

              There are others whose efforts I am unaware of but who have
              also contributed constructively to this process. Thanks to
              them too.

              Behind this decision are many dedicated officers in the
              Ministry, National Parks Board, Housing & Development Board
              and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. An announcement such
              as this reflects months of work that has gone on behind the
              scenes and several site visits to Chek Jawa.

              In the past few months, a few hundreds have been rushing down
              each weekend or holiday for their last chance to see to
              Chek Jawa. Our footprints alone have left considerable impact.
              With the reprieve, it is now a chance to let Chek Jawa recover
              for the months and years ahead.

              All of you are now urged to reduce your visits to Chek Jawa
              and to spread the word about the reprieve and the need to let
              Chek Jawa recover. In the meantime, NParks will initiate
              a system to manage the flow of visitors.

              The MND press release ends with the statement, "We seek the
              co-operation of the public to protect the habitats and to
              ensure the long-term enjoyment of this natural heritage."

              On 10th November, Mr Mah Bow Tan announced that the previously
              unprotected Sungei Buloh Nature Park and Labrador Nature Area
              would be legislated under the National Parks Act.

              Today, he has sprung another surprise.

              I guess a lot of us are smiling. Happy New Year everyone!

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              MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PRESS RELEASE
              20 DECEMBER 2001
              <http://app.internet.gov.sg/data/sprinter/pr/weekly/2001122003.htm>
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              DEFERMENT OF RECLAMATION WORKS AT TANJUNG CHEK JAWA

              1 The Ministry of National Development (MND) has decided to defer the
              reclamation works at Tanjung Chek Jawa originally slated for end of 2001.
              This will allow MND to discuss with relevant experts on how best the marine
              life there can be protected. Chek Jawa is located at the eastern tip of
              Pulau Ubin.

              2 Groups and individuals with special interest in Tanjung Chek Jawa have
              given MND detailed and insightful feedback since the area was first brought
              to public attention at the URA Public Dialogue on the Concept Plan 2001 this
              year.

              3 The decision to defer the reclamation works at Chek Jawa comes after
              MND has carefully considered all public submissions and also following
              extensive consultations among various government agencies including the
              Urban Redevelopment Authority, the National Parks Board (NParks), the
              Housing and Development Board. MND has also consulted with marine life
              experts from the National University of Singapore and other institutions and
              societies.

              4 This afternoon, Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, met
              with some representatives of nature and biodiversity groups and some members
              of public who have shown strong interest in protecting the marine life in
              this area. The meeting was called to discuss the best option to protect the
              marine life at Chek Jawa. More details will be announced later after
              studying the various options.

              5 With the deferment of the reclamation works, the immediate need is to
              conserve biodiversity and prevent further deterioration of the mudflats and
              injury to the marine organisms. Hence, we wish to advise members of the
              public that there is no longer an urgent need to rush to visit Chek Jawa.

              6 NParks will put in place a system to manage the flow of visitors during
              low tide. Visitors will be advised to keep to the designated routes and
              refrain from collecting any plants or animals. NParks is also exploring
              with nature and bio-diversity groups to provide guides. NParks will release
              more details at a later date.

              7 We seek the co-operation of the public to protect the habitats and to
              ensure long-term enjoyment of this natural heritage.


              For media enquiries, please contact:
              Mr Soo Siew Keong, Assistant Director, Public Affairs/MND
              Tel: 325 7222 or HP: 97700669


              ISSUED BY
              MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
              20 DECEMBER 2001
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