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2002-03: Starfish are smiling, Herons are back, Chek Jawa exhibition at NIE, feedback invited

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  • N. Sivasothi
    ... Habitatnews 2002-03: Wednesday, 23rd January 2001 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 23 7:05 AM
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      Habitatnews 2002-03: Wednesday, 23rd January 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. Even the starfish are smiling!
      2. Purple Herons back in Sungei Buloh Nature Park
      3. Exhibition at NIE on Chek Jawa - a whole room!
      4. Feedback and suggestions invited for Chek Jawa

      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---> [1] Even the Starfish are smiling!
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      The cover of the Straits Times, 15th January declared, "Even the
      Starfish on the beach are smiling". Lydia Lim was quoting the
      Chek Jawa postcards webpage at:
      <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/news/chekjawa/postcards/>

      The remark was made by Chia Meng Tze who wrote on 21 Dec 2001,
      after the initial announcement of 20th December 2001. She said,
      "what a wonderful Christmas and New Year present from MND - even the
      starfishes on the beach are smiling I bet !"

      Thanks to Ria Tan for all the work in maintaing the webpage, often
      entertaining extremely demanding requests at odd hours of the day!


      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---> [2] Purple Herons back in Sungei Buloh Nature Park
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      The Purple Herons had disappeared from Sungei Buloh some time ago,
      I cannot remember when. While I know they were still around in
      mid-2000 (Heron Watch programme advertisements in Habitatnews),
      for some months now, the reward of the relatively long hike
      around the park to get a glimpse of nesting birds had been
      a mere memory.

      But animals have the habit of returning to Sungei Buloh it seems.
      During the New Year while we were swamped with guiding and writing
      proposals for Chek Jawa, it was gratifying to receive this short
      email from a friend.

      Chan Su Hooi, staff of Sungei Buloh Nature Park wrote (31 Dec 2001):

      "Yes, on this very last day of year 2001, I have a good news
      to share : )

      Was at the heronry just now, and guess what, yes, saw the herons!
      They were the Purple Herons, I counted, 18 of them but should have
      more. 2 were on a nest each. So, let's hope that they will stay
      and more would return!" ...


      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---> [3] Exhibition and Talk on Chek Jawa this Saturday
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      The Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group of NIE,
      NTU are holding their Open Day 2002, in conjunction with the NIE
      Official Opening on Saturday 26th January 2002.

      Venue: Block 3 National Institute of Education
      1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore 637 616

      Chek Jawa will be featured in the Open House. Staff and students
      from this department contributed to the reprieve for Chek Jawa
      by conducting scientific studies and contributing feedback to
      the government. Some of this will be on display. A growing
      chronology attempts to put the many pieces of the long journey
      together.

      "There is a whole room devoted to CJ." - Teh Tiong Sa

      At the Environmental Studies Lab, Room 27
      "Geography for Life Exhibition"
      ---> Talk on Chek Jawa by Joseph Lai
      Time 10.30am - 11.00am

      ---> Exhibition featuring research and other efforts over Chek
      Jawa. A GIS presentation includes algae distribution, landforms,
      sedimentation profiles, transect studies, etc. See also the
      traveling exhibition that has appeared on many parts of Singapore
      courtesy of Ria Tan, Alan Yeo and Asian Geographic.
      Time 9.30am - 3.00pm

      --- source Joseph Lai & Teh Tiong Sa


      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---> [4] Feedback and suggestions invited for Chek Jawa
      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      The measures in place at present are merely an emergency measure
      to deal with providing the marine inter-tidal areas of Chek Jawa
      with a chance to recover. Rather than closing it to the public,
      impact minimisation has been a compromise.

      The system of group and station guides has generally met with
      public acceptance when it is explained to them at the site and
      attempts have been made to incorporate suggestions mad so far.

      Well, in end-January a committee will meet to discuss the issue
      of managing Chek Jawa, as reflected in the press statement of
      14th January 2002.

      If you have suggestions and ideas, feedback and suggestions are
      invited. We are compiling our ideas and you are invited to
      add yours to the pile.

      Simply reply to this email or write to chekjawa@...
    • N. Sivasothi
      ... Habitatnews 2002-04: Wednesday, 5th March 2002 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 4, 2002
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Habitatnews 2002-04: Wednesday, 5th March 2002
        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. Lizardman Rashid on CNA TONIGHT, 7.30pm
        2. Otter group of 6 sighted at Sungei Buloh Nature Park
        3. Closure of Nature's Niche at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
        4. Correct URL for Feedback on Remaking Singapore
        5. Strange story - African lioness adopts another Oryx, seeks a third!
        6. Download the ACRES bear bile project report
        7. New book on common Malaysian peat swamp forest trees

        This issue was prepared on a Macintosh iBook at airports in Delhi, Kuala
        Lumpur and Changi, and on the MRT from Changi Airport to Buona Vista!


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---> [1] Lizardman Rashid on CNA tonight, 7.30pm
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        SMA Rashid of NIE/NTU's Natural Sciences department will featured on
        Channel News Asia tonight, at 7.30pm, with his monitor lizards. Rashid
        conducted research on monitor lizards at Sungei Buloh Nature Park for a
        couple of years for his PhD. He is currently writing up. I think thee
        feature is on lizards.


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---> [2] Otter group of 6 sighted at Buloh, 22nd February 2002
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        "I saw otters at Buloh yesterday [22nd February] ... 6 of them but hard to
        make out juv/adults etc. In any case, I think it's the first sighting of the
        year so it might be useful for you and the conference??"

        "Tse-Lynn and two others with us saw it too. There was also an entry for
        these otters on the same day by someone else visiting the park but they only
        saw 4..

        The group were chasing a school of mullets (I think) and these fishes kept
        jumping out of the water...TL's and my first ever sighting of otters at
        Buloh...how cool right?"

        ---> Source: Zeehan Jaafar, 23rd & 24th February 2002.


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---> [3] Nature's Niche at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has closed
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Nature's Niche has ceased operation of the shop at Bukit Timah Nature
        Reserve. This store, opened by nature lover Ng Bee Choo, was the first to
        focus on Southeast Asian natural history. I stopped lugging books from all
        over the region but just went to Bukit Timah, often coming back with a heavy
        load of books after a walk a thee hill!

        The shop also popularised many titles which were previously very rare in
        Singapore, such as the Mammals of Thailand. Bee Choo and Nature Niche Pte
        Ltd continues to operate the Botanic Garden Shop. See
        <http://www.naturesniche.com>

        ---> Announcement of closure: Ng Bee Choo, 7th February 2002.


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---> [4] Feedback submissions to Remaking Singapore - Correct URL
        <http://app10.internet.gov.sg/scripts/mcds/remakingsingapore/index.asp>
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        The webpage provided in the newspapers did not work, so a simple hunt
        revealed the correct address at:
        <http://app10.internet.gov.sg/scripts/mcds/remakingsingapore/index.asp>

        We have all been asked to submit our thoughts and opinions, so take a stab
        at it. Nature-related issues can be presented for consideration.

        ---> Thanks to Ria Tan, 15th February 2002


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---> [5] African Lioness adopts another Oryx, seeks a third
        by Jennifer Wanjiru, Environment News Service
        <http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-21-02.html>
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        SAMBURU GAME RESERVE, Kenya, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - The lioness that
        attracted international attention in January after it adopted an oryx calf
        in Kenya's Samburu Game Reserve is back in the news. This week the lioness
        adopted another baby oryx.

        ---> Thanks to Sasi Nayar, 22 February 2002


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---> [6] Download the ACRES bear bile project report
        <http://www.acres.org.sg/reports.htm>
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        'The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) is a new
        non-profit society aimed at fostering respect and compassion for all
        animals.

        Last year, there were featured in the news when they published the results
        of a 3-month long investigation conducted in collaboration with the World
        Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). The investigation found that
        73.5% of the 68 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shops visited sold
        alleged bear products. Most of the products were reported to be from China.'

        'Bears undergo inhumane conditions in farms to produce bile medicines.'
        "There are many herbal substitutes to bear bile medicines in Traditional
        Chinese Medicine and we encourage people to ask shopkeepers and TCM
        practitioners for these," said Vadivu Govind, Program Manager of ACRES.

        In January and February, the society conducted several exhibitions. Look at
        the webpage under 'campaigns' for the bear bile project. The full consumer
        report can be downloaded from the site in pdf format.

        They intend to provide a list of medicine halls who respond to this sort of
        feedback, and adopt alternative, humane, sources.

        Source: Jagdish Ramakrishnan, Vadivu Govind & Louis Ng, Dec 2001 - Feb 2002.


        See also: Singapore study sparks concern over bear farming
        <http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=13633>

        ---> Thanks to Sasi Nayar, 11th December 2001.

        Bear product trade 'rife' here, Strait Times, 11th December 2001.
        <http://www.ecologyasia.com/NewsArchives/Dec_2001/straitstimes.asia1.com.sg_
        singapore_story_0,1870,89386,00.html>


        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        ---> [7] New: Common Trees in Peat Swamp Forest of Peninsular Malaysia
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
        Research Pamphlet No. 124 from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
        by T.P. Ng and S. Ibrahim, 2001. 98 pages, 18 x 23 cm, Œillustrated with
        colour photographs on almost every page.¹

        ³The bulk of the book is a photographic guide to tree species but there are
        additional chapters covering distribution, characteristics, management and
        conservation of peat swamp forest.² Price at the Botanic Garden Shop is
        S$46.90

        ---> Source: Morten Strange, 3rd February 2002.
        <http://www.naturesniche.com>
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
      • N. Sivasothi
        ... Habitatnews 2002-05: Sunday, 10th March 2002 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 9, 2002
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Habitatnews 2002-05: Sunday, 10th March 2002
          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>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Marine Life Special

          1. An old man and the sea,
          2. Dugongs disappearing worldwide due to human overload,
          3. Raising Dugong ­ what¹s best for Gracie?
          4. World's 10 richest reefs hammered by humans
          5. "Developing a Chek Jawa GIS Data Base" by Dr. Kumaran Raju
          6. International team embarks on South China Sea expedition EX ANAMBAS

          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [1] An old man and the sea by Chompoo Trakullertsathien,
          Bangkok Post, 7th February 2002
          <http://www.bangkokpost.com/en/070202_Outlook/07Feb2002_out41.html>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Ahmad Kaewthong, headman of Ban Jao Mai, and his efforts to restore the
          seagrass ecosystem, protect the dugongs and restore the livelihood of his
          village.

          ---> Thanks to Nick Baker, 21 Feb 2002. "Here's a wonderful story about one
          man and his efforts to restore seagrass ecology and dugongs in Trang
          Province, Thailand."


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [2] ENS: Dugongs disappearing worldwide due to human overload
          <http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-13-01.html>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          CARTAGENA, Colombia, February 13, 2002 (ENS) - The dugong, a marine species
          that is a key indicator of coastal health, is vanishing in the 37 countries
          and territories, environment ministers from around the world meeting here
          were told today. Where dugongs cannot thrive, coastal environments will soon
          fail to support people as well, the new report warns.

          ---> Thanks to Sasi Nayar, 15th February 2002.


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [3] Raising Dugong ­ what¹s best for Gracie?
          By Carolline Durville, Asian Diver, date unknown.
          <http://www.asiandiver.com/themagazine/marinelife/dugong.html>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          About the captive baby dugong, found entangled in nets, and since raised by
          the Underwater World Singapore. Includes a QuickTime video of Gracie.

          Look at the index for marine life articles for other interesting stories
          including one about the Manado coelacanth.
          <http://www.asiandiver.com/themagazine/marinelife/>

          ---> Thanks to Ria Tan, 31 Jan 2002

          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [4] ENS: World's 10 richest reefs hammered by humans
          <http://ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002L-02-21-01.html>
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          WASHINGTON, DC, February 21, 2002 (ENS) - Fishing with explosives and
          poison, overfishing, sedimentation and pollution from activities on land are
          wiping out the world's coral reefs, according to two new reports presented
          this week by conservation organizations based in Washington. Pressure on the
          reefs is most intense in the coral triangle formed by Indonesia,
          Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and southern Japan.

          'Two of the top three reef hotspots are in Southeast Asia [Philippines and
          the Sunda Islands of Indonesia], a result that squares with a separate
          report from the World Resources Institute issued February 14 that adds to
          the evidence of damage affecting the coral reefs of Southeast Asia.'

          ---> Thanks to Sasi Nayar, 22nd February 2002.


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [5] "Developing a Chek Jawa GIS Data Base" by Dr. Kumaran Raju
          GIS Administrator, Land Transport Authority
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Friday 22 March 2002 12.30pm - 1.30pm

          LT 4 (Block 7, Plaza Level)
          National Institute of Education

          How to get there? See: <http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/BDJC/nie.html>

          About the Topic
          ---------------
          Dr. Raju will explain the rationale and processes behind the development of
          a GIS database for Chek Jawa. 'Friends of Chek Jawa', who collectively
          provided the field and map data that make up the GIS database, initiated
          this 'project'. This project is not supported by any funding and was carried
          out to provide a common 'home' for the ecological, geomorphic, bathymetric,
          management and photographic data. The Chek Jawa GIS has no real ownership;
          it belongs to all. The GIS is still developing and will continue to grow as
          additional data and information come to hand.

          About the Speaker
          -----------------
          Dr. Raju is a hydrogeologist with expertise in GIS and Remote Sensing. He is
          currently the GIS administrator in the Land Transport
          Authority, Singapo re. His responsibilities include maintaining the Road
          Information database and researching on the migration of database from the
          CASSINI coordinate system to SVY95. Dr. Raju is a committed
          environmentalist, serving as a volunteer in the Nature Society of Singapore
          and has participated in various ecological surveys as a volunteer.

          Dr. Raju was a research scientist in the Asian Elephant Research and
          Conservation Centre in Bangalore. He was also a research associate at the
          Indian Space Research Organization in Bangalore and a project associate at
          the Institute of Remote Sensing, Anna University in Chennai, India.

          This seminar is organised by Humanities & Social Studies Education AG

          Source: Thanks to S. M. A. Rashid, 9th March 2002


          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ---> [6] International team embarks on South China Sea expedition
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Note to Habitatnews subscribers - the Singapore team of seven
          includes your friendly Chek Jawa guides: Joelle Lai, Zeehan Jaafar,
          Darren Yeo and myself.

          The National University of Singapore
          Press Release, 9th March 2002

          EXERCISE ANAMBAS

          Exercise Anambas is an exploratory expedition to study the biodiversity of
          the poorly explored islands of Anambas and Natuna of the Republic of
          Indonesia. It will be the first expedition of its kind in history involving
          scientists from the territories surrounding the South China Sea.
          Participants are from countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Chinese
          Taipei, Malaysia, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Thailand and
          Vietnam.

          The participants, who will meet in Singapore on Sunday 10 March 2002, will
          be involved in a 10-day expedition aboard the Indonesian Institute of
          Sciences (LIPI) research vessel, the Baruna Jaya VII, from 11 to 20 March
          2002, followed by a three-day post-expedition workshop in Singapore.

          The group will leave via Batam on Monday 11 March 2002. This scientific
          expedition is being led by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research of
          the National University of Singapore and the (LIPI).

          The results of the biodiversity survey will be published in a special
          scientific volume for use by scientists internationally. The area has not
          been surveyed scientifically for more than 100 years, and the biodiversity
          of the area is almost unknown. This is also the first time a large group of
          scientists from different countries are working together on a biodiversity
          project, and the expedition will not only contribute towards regional
          cooperation, but also towards the future conservation of the marine
          environment.

          The proposal for this expedition was submitted by the Raffles Museum of
          Biodiversity Research of the National University of Singapore, in February
          2000 to the South China Sea Workshop, at the recommendation of the Workshop
          on Biodiversity Assessment in May 1997. The 11th Workshop for Managing
          Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea adopted the proposal as a
          confidence building measure in Jakarta on March 2001.

          For more information, please contact:

          Assoc Prof Peter Ng
          Email: peterng@..., Tel: +65-874-5082,
          Director, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
          National University of Singapore

          Mr N. Sivasothi,
          Email: sivasothi@..., Tel: +65-874-8869
          Research Officer, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
          National University of Singapore
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
        • N. Sivasothi
          ... Habitatnews 2002-06: Thursday, 11th April 2002 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 10, 2002
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            Habitatnews 2002-06: Thursday, 11th April 2002
            The Habitat Group's Nature Information List
            To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            Current nature-related news busy Singaporeans might otherwise miss
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            SECRETWORLDS SINGAPORE premieres on Channel I
            at 9.00pm on Sunday 14th April 2002

            Press Release from Charith Pelpoa, Series Producer,
            The Moving Visuals Co. <http://www.movingvisuals.com>

            "Picture a Singapore of over a 150 years ago ­ a land full of mysterious
            animals and uncharted forests. And now compare that wilderness of yesteryear
            with the urban jungle that sprawls across the island today.

            Drawing on this stark contrast, together with the findings of local
            naturalists, we delve once more into the secret world of Singapore.

            What we have uncovered will come as a surprise to many who have long thought
            of Singapore as a nation depleted of its wildlife; fascinating discoveries
            that will enlighten a 21st Century audience; and intrigue viewers about the
            beauty of Singapore¹s natural legacy.

            Join us as we take an evocative look at a natural world struggling to hold
            on to its vanishing realm."


            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            Series Episode topics, Channel I: Sundays, 9pm from 14th April
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
            For the complete synopsis that Charith sent me, please see:
            <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/news/secretworlds/synopsis.html>

            Episode 1 - A SECRET HISTORY An introduction to the wildlife of Singapore,
            by way of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and the National Parks
            Board of Singapore.

            Episode 2 - SECRETS BY THE SEA One of the most enigmatic residents of the
            mangroves are the aquatic snakes. We¹ll also meet the opportunistic
            marshland and take a closer look at some of Singapore¹s intriguing bird
            species, and a share a few moments of their life in the mangroves.

            Episode 3 - ON SECRET SANDS Rocky Shores and Sandflats are the destination
            today. Despite their close proximity to coastal settlements and urban
            developments, these oases of life on the borders of the land are in fact
            alive with activity. We mention one extraordinary habitat in particular ­
            Chek Jawa.

            Episode 4 - A SECRET SANCTUARY Into the secret swamplands of Singapore.
            These waterways are thick with vegetation, and teeming with aquatic life. In
            fact because of their water conditions and relative inaccessibility, the
            swamplands are the last stronghold for Singapore¹s endemic fish species.

            Episode 5 - A FOREST OF SECRETS Singapore was once covered almost entirely
            by rainforest, a habitat that is well known for its wealth of plant and
            animal species. And the same can still be said about the country¹s remaining
            rainforest reserves. We explore one of the last areas of primary rainforest
            in Singapore.

            Episode 6 - THE SECRET CITY Urban areas are not the biodiversity desert
            that they at first may seem. There are several species that have adapted and
            colonised Singapore¹s cities and towns, and have made them their own.
            --------------------------------------------------------------------
          • N. Sivasothi
            ... Habitatnews 2002-07: Friday, 19th April 2002 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 18, 2002
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Habitatnews 2002-07: Friday, 19th April 2002
              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>
              --------------------------------------------------------------------

              1. Seminar - "Abusive practises of captive primates" Friday 19th April
              2. Event - Ubin Day, Saturday 20th April 2002
              3. Event - Lesiure Cycling 2002, Sunday 21st April
              4. TV (Ch I) - Secret Worlds 2."Secrets by the Sea", Sunday 21st April
              5. Interesting webpage: Enchanted Learning
              6. US Shark finning extended to Pacific Ocean
              7. New order of Insect!

              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              ---> [1] "The abusive practices of keeping primates in captivity
              and entertainment in South East Asia"
              <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/seminars/bdjc/>
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              by Louis Ng Kok Kwang, Friday 19th April 2002 (TODAY): 1pm - 2pm
              Seminar Room 2, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

              The speaker will briefly introduce problems involved in keeping
              primates in captivity; covering major issues involving the use of
              primate in entertainment especially in Southeast Asia.

              Read the complete announcement at the webpage
              Meetings of the Biodiversity & Ecology Journal Club
              Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

              ---> Source: Zeehan Jaafar, NUS.


              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              ---> [2] Ubin Day this Saturday, 20th April 2002
              <http://www.sec.org.sg/ubin_day/ubin_index.html>
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              "A Full Day Events for Friends and Family, In appreciation of the
              natural beauty and kampong way of life on Pulau Ubin"

              There will be 20 booths with different themes, includes game stalls,
              green group stalls and traditional craft stalls. There will be
              performances by schools and other organizations, and a series of
              walks, Sensory Trail Walk, Plant Walk, Butterfly Walk, Bird Walk,
              as well a Mini Bus ride and a Bum Boat ride around Ubin.

              See the webpage for details.


              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              ---> [3] National Lesiure Cycling 2002 this Sunday, 21st April
              <http://www.ssc.gov.sg/2002/cycling2002.shtml>
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              'The Singapore Sports Council together with Singapore Amateur Cycling
              Association, Singapore Environment Council and National Parks Board
              will be organising the National Leisure Cycling 2002 on 21 April 2002
              from 7.30 am to 11.00 am at the Marina City Park/Marina South Padang.

              There are two routes, a 19km and a family 11km route. The beginning/end
              point will feature stunt shows, dance performances, lucky draws and
              novelty contests. Registration is free.'

              More details at the webpage.


              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              ---> [4] Secret Worlds Singapore, Episode 2: Secrets by the Sea
              Sunday 21st April 2002: 9pm, Channel I
              <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg/news/secretworlds/synopsis.html>
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              "Daryl Karns is a professor representing the Field Museum of Natural History
              in Chicago. And he has a passion for snakes. We¹ll speak to him about the
              amazing resilience and adaptability of Singapore¹s water snakes, and what
              their continued success says about the real state of Singapore¹s mangrove
              forests.

              We¹ll also meet the opportunistic marshland birds; all intriguing characters
              in their own right, and each uniquely adapted to their various roles in the
              mangrove¹s natural systems.

              The rich food source here also attracts a host of shorebirds, including the
              Herons, of which there are a few species in Singapore. A Heron colony is a
              noisy affair at the best of times, with males courting females and
              aggressively defending them from rivals. Herons are also very determined
              hunters, using stealth and camouflage to catch their prey.

              We will take a closer look at some of Singapore¹s intriguing bird species,
              and a share a few moments of their life in the mangroves."

              ---> Source: Charith Pelpola.


              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              ---> [5] Enchanted Learning Webpage
              <http://www.EnchantedLearning.com/Home.html>
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              This brightly coloured webpage is full of interesting animations,
              puzzles and printouts. Since 1996, Jeananda Col writes the site and
              her husband, a college professor, edits it. It has become very popular.
              Struggling to keep it online with heavy traffic, she is "passing
              the hat", and a standard donation is US$20. If you like it, chip in.

              Their page on continental drift has a useful animation that teachers
              might want to borrow for powerpoint presentations.
              <http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/glossary/Pangaea.shtml>

              Remember to acknowledge the source always!

              ---> Thanks to: Hugh Tan, NUS.


              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              ---> [6] US Shark Finning Ban Extended to Pacific Ocean
              <http://www.ens-news.com/ens/feb2002/2002l%2D02%2D12%2D093.html>
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Shark fins are in demand for shark fin soup, but the rest of the shark is
              not considered as delicious. Shark fins comprise only between 1 percent and
              5 percent of the weight of a shark, and finning results in a 95 to 99
              percent waste (by weight).

              The US federal ban on shark finning has now been extended to the Pacific
              Ocean by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The new regulations,
              effective March 13, 2002, implement the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of
              2000. The regulations make it unlawful for any federally regulated fishing
              vessel to carry or land shark fins without the entire shark carcass.

              ---> Sources - Lycos Environment News Service, 12th Feb 2002
              & SeaWeb Ocean Update, March 2002 <http://www.seaweb.org/>,

              ---> Thanks to LM Chou and Sasi Nayar, NUS


              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              ---> [7] New Order of Insects Discovered in Namibia
              <http://www.ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-17-03.html>
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              'A new order of insects has been identified in a discovery that
              researchers say is equivalent to finding a live saber-tooth tiger.
              This first discovery of a new insect order since 1915 brings the total
              number of insect orders to 31. The insect, Mantophasmatodea, a predatory
              animal, resembles a mix between a stick insect and a preying mantis.'

              Source: ---> Sources - Lycos Environment News Service, 17th April, 2002
            • N. Sivasothi
              ... Habitatnews 2002-08: Monday, 22nd April 2002 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 21, 2002
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                Habitatnews 2002-08: Monday, 22nd April 2002
                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>
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research is part of the
                Singapore Library Festival 2002!

                See html version at <http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/libraryfestival>

                1. New display on the Raffles Collection at the Public Gallery
                2. Visiting hours at the Public Gallery extended to 9pm.
                3. Guided tours every half-hour, 5.30pm to 8.30pm (please book)
                4. Public Talks by museum staff at NUS LT32: Mon, Wed, Fri: 7.30pm
                5. How to get to the Raffles Museum in NUS
                --------------------------------------------------------------------


                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                ---> [1] New display on the Raffles Collection at the Public Gallery
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                We have added a "Hidden treasures" section to the Public Gallery.

                1. Some of the very old books inherited from the Raffles Library and Museum
                that continue to be used today, including original works by Bleeker,
                Linnaeus and Darwin; 2. The evolution of the Bulletin of the Raffles Museum
                to its present form today as the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology; 3. Regional
                journals that are very valuable sources of information; 4. How old books
                have helped modern situations in natural history research; 5. Beautiful
                paintings from old books of the Raffles COllection


                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                ---> [2] Visiting hours at the Public Gallery extended to 9pm.
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                The Public Gallery is normally open during office hours. In celebration of
                the Singapore Library Festival, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
                is extending the visiting hours to the Public Gallery from 9am to 9pm.


                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                ---> [3] Guided tours every half-hour, 5.30pm to 8.30pm (please book)
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                From 5.30pm - 8.30pm, there will be guided tours every half-hour, conducted
                by museum staff, University alumni (biology graduates) and four 14-year old
                Chinese High students on their first trial as gallery guides! Please book by
                sending an email to Greasi Simon at <greasi@...> and indicate 1)
                Name, 2) No of people, 3) Date and 4) Time.


                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                ---> [4] Public Talks at NUS Lecture Theatre 32: Mon, Wed, Fri: 7.30pm
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                Three different slide talks will be conducted by the Director of the Raffles
                Museum, A/P Peter Ng and Research Officer N. Sivasothi in the theme ³Ancient
                texts and explorations: a treasure trove of secrets from the wild².

                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                ---> Mon 22nd April 2002: 7.30pm, NUS LT32
                ³Old paintings and news ideas - Personal examples for natural history
                explorations in Southeast Asia."
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                By A/Prof Peter Ng, Director, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Dept.
                Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

                Students of natural history and modern biodiversity have long used
                paintings of plants and animals for their research. In fact, many
                classic paintings have been used by biologists to name new species. The
                compilation of paintings by Rumphius and Seba for example, have been
                used by many great men, notably Carolus Linnaeus, to name species,
                especially those from Asia and Americas which were not easy to visit in
                those days. Many fish species named by French scientists, for example,
                were actually based on clasical Chinese paintings!

                Of course, biologists have also long used paintings and drawings to
                illustrate their scholarly articles. Even in the modern era of
                high-technology photography and advanced digital imagery, biologists still
                rely a great deal on "old-fashioned" drawings and sometimes even paintings
                to emphasise their discovery.

                In this talk, I will bring you across time and highlight some
                interesting paintings and figures from the 1500s to the present which
                have helped (or exasperated) me in my study of animals, notably aquatic
                invertebrates and fish. Have these paintings advanced the cause of
                modern research? What problems have they caused? How have we solved
                them? How good were the old artists? What can modern biologists learn
                from their work?


                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                ---> Wed 24th April 2002: 7.30pm, NUS LT32
                ³The hunt for the Hairy-nosed otter².
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                By N. Sivasothi, a.k.a. ŒOtterman¹.
                Member, IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group (Asian Section) &
                Editor, Asian Otter Newsletter

                There I am, shivering in the early morning, and brown heads bob out of the
                sea. A family of otters swim energetically away. I get barely a glimpse and
                realise I could not tell the species! Clues from dusty books initially threw
                out more than 60 names for four species of otters, and it was time to sort
                it all out. Some investigation into nomenclature was needed and I shelved
                plans for ecology. Besides, it was too tiring chasing otters through bays in
                Malaysia!

                Eventually the mess was sorted out for three of the species, but the trail
                of the Hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana) remained almost mythical. J. E.
                Gray's description from 1869 described a strangely (for an otter) paler
                colour to the upper lip and chin. I would eventually see examples in the
                Sarawak Museum and some time later, skulls of roadkills would emerge in
                Malaysia.

                Years later, information sharing between scientists would lead to the
                rediscovery of this threatened endemic species of otter in Southeast Asia -
                a live otter cub was discovered by hard-working forestry rangers in
                Thailand. The combined efforts of the IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group would
                lead to the discovery of adults in the wild, and eventually reports would
                emerge from Cambodia and Vietnam.


                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                ---> Fri 26th April 2002: 7.30pm, NUS LT32
                "The times and trials of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research".
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                By N. Sivasothi, Research Officer at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity
                Research, Dept. Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

                This story chronicles the trials of the zoological collection of animals and
                books from the Raffles Library and Museum in Stamford Road. Surviving the
                ravages of war, a change in focus for the National Museum saw the collection
                wandering from place to place before finally establishing itself in the
                National University of Singapore. While it would become internationally
                famous as a research centre for Southeast Asian zoology, its locally
                existence was virtually unknown; only a vague memory of a whale skeleton
                remained in the minds of many!

                Decades later, is beginning to revive its traditional role in public
                education, mirroring events, as it were, that happened at the turn of the
                last century! Learn about interesting and amusing stories and people that
                have peppered the colourful history of this museum, and some of its current
                and future plans.


                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                ---> [5] How to get to the Raffles Museum in NUS
                See: <http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/RMBR.JPG>
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                Public Gallery
                --------------
                1. From Buona Vista MRT station, take SBS No. 95 heading towards NUS.
                2. After plying straight down Buona Vista Road, the bus turns right into the
                university campus.
                3. Stop at the second bus-stop (LT27) on Lower Kent Ridge Road.
                4. Walk to Science Drive 2.
                5. The Raffles Museum is the end of the road in Block S6, third floor.

                Public talks
                ------------
                Guides will bring you to LT32 for the talks. If you are going for the talk
                directly, alight at the third bus-stop (Sheare¹s Hall) and walk up Science
                Drive 4.
                --------------------------------------------------------------------
              • N. Sivasothi
                ... Habitatnews 2002-09: Thursday, 25th April 2002 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 25, 2002
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Habitatnews 2002-09: Thursday, 25th April 2002
                  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. Friday's public talk at the Raffles Museum cancelled.
                  2. Leisure Cycling was more festive
                  3. Upcoming events off the top of my head
                  4. Christmas Island ants make dent in crab population

                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  ---> [1] Friday's Public talk at Raffles Museum cancelled
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  "The times and trials of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research".
                  This talk has been cancelled. It was meant o be presented as part of the
                  Singapore Library Festival.

                  The Public Gallery will still be open until 9pm, with guides present to
                  introduce you to the ten themes in the gallery.


                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  ---> [2] Leisure cycling was more festive this year
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  The National Leisure Cycling was revved up this year with the route
                  stretching from Marina South to the National Stadium. A fairly flat
                  19km ride peppered with a few slight slopes, an easy, enjoyable ride,
                  especially for me, just after I recovered from a sudden aand incapacitating
                  flu.

                  The route was peppered with lots and lots of route marshals, and when we
                  finished, we were greeted with green balloons and green painted faces of the
                  Body Shop crew!

                  In the midst of recovery someone pointed out that it was talentime winners
                  Cherry Chocolate Candy energetically dancing on stage. We were too tired to
                  go any closer and soon after, the strong rays of the sun were shaded out by
                  the clouds, else we would have fried!

                  Booths with the usual bike shops and sponsors were present and people again
                  queued up for a free tune-up by Shimano mechanics. SEC was there, as part of
                  car free day. NParks were partners on this as well, so I met more familiar
                  faces, and we ended the morning chatting about Ubin Day and the like.


                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  ---> [3] Upcoming events off the top of my head
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Library talks - once a month by NSS members; will post here
                  when I get the schedule.

                  --- May ---
                  - Museum Fest, Suntec City, 24th - 26th May 2002, keep an eye on:
                  <http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/roundtable>

                  --- June ---
                  - Runway Cycling at Paya Lebar Airbase, Sunday 16th June.
                  Email <projects@...> or Fax +6375-6188 for the form
                  6km, 15km & 30km routes. Bike rental available. (Thanks to Yik Seow Hwa)
                  - Briswalk series - Sundays in June <http://briskwalk.sivasothi.com>

                  --- July ---
                  - Biking in Ubin - Sundays in July <http://biking.sivasothi.com>


                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  ---> [4] Crazy ants wiping out famed [Christmas] island crabs
                  Michale Christie, Reuters, April 11, 2002
                  <http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/15428/story.htm>
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  ""Crazy Ants" are devouring the famous migrating land crabs of Australia's
                  Christmas Island and may have killed off up to half the crab population in
                  the past few years, a conservation official says.

                  David Slip, government conservator of the remote Indian Ocean outpost, said
                  crazy or long-legged ant infestations exploded into "super colonies" about
                  five years ago and the acid-squirting ants now dominate a quarter of
                  Christmas Island's rainforest.

                  The island's land crabs - famous for migrating in their millions every year
                  to the ocean to spawn - are blinded by the ants' formic acid and are quickly
                  overwhelmed, eaten and left dying in rotting piles on the forest floor."

                  More at webpage.
                  ---> Thanks to Sasi Nayar.
                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
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