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2002-04: 1.Monitor Lizards, 2.Otter group at Buloh, 3.BT bookshop closes, 4.Url for feedback, 5.Lion adopts oryx, 6.Bear bile report, 7.Peat swamp trees

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  • N. Sivasothi
    ... Habitatnews 2002-04: Wednesday, 5th March 2002 The Habitat Group s Nature Information List To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com ...
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 of 9 , Apr 10, 2002
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          Habitatnews 2002-06: Thursday, 11th April 2002
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          To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
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          More information and archives at: <http://habitatnews.nus.edu.sg>
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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 4 of 9 , Apr 18, 2002
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            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
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            --------------------------------------------------------------------

            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 5 of 9 , Apr 21, 2002
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Habitatnews 2002-08: Monday, 22nd April 2002
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              To subscribe, email: habitatnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
              --------------------------------------------------------------------
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              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              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 6 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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