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Author/Editor:
N. Sivasothi,
a.k.a. Otterman,
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.


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Wed 22 Jul 2015

Announcing the 4th Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium, Sat 01 Aug 2015 – 24 five-minute presentations and 30 posters!

Category : events

The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is pleased to announce the Fourth Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium (BoSS IV) to be held on Saturday, 1st of August 2015: 8.00 am – 4:30 pm. The symposium will be held at UTown Auditorium 2 (Stephen Riady Centre) at the National University of Singapore.

We are really pleased that our Guest of Honour gracing the event is the Minister of State for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee who has been very active in this arena.

BoSS IV showcases a cohort of young and passionate folks who have stepped up to study and champion various aspects of Singapore’s biodiversity in four, one hour-long sessions. 24 speakers will excite you through snappy five-minute presentations with news and developments in the field. And we just had to include a special update about the Singapore Whale.

The symposium tradition is maintained with two hour-long teas featuring 30 posters, and of course sumptuous food to promote interaction and collaboration! Programme details can be viewed at https://biodiversitysg4.wordpress.com.

Registration
There is a registration fee is $10 for adults and $6 for students (includes grad students!) Please register at https://biodiversitysg4.wordpress.com/registration, which has cash, electronic and cheque payment options.

Do inform colleagues, friends and acquaintances who may enjoy this interesting approach to getting quickly acquainted with some aspects of biodiversity research and education in Singapore.


Biodiversity symposia in Singapore, 2003 - 2015

  • "The Future of Marine Science in Singapore." Wed 27 May 2015 [link]
  • "An Evening of Biodiversity: The Secret Lives of Mammals in Singapore." Wed 16 Apr 2014. [link]
  • "Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat Workshop." 31 Aug 2013. [link]
  • "The Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium III" 24 Sep 2011. [link]
  • "An Evening of Biodiversity: Zoological Explorations in Singapore." Fri 16 Apr 2010. [link]
  • "The Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium II." 22 May 2007. [link]
  • "The Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium I." 11-12 Jul 2003. [link]

Posted at 2:13AM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Fri 08 May 2015

Wed 27 May 2015 @ NUS U Town ­ "The Future of Marine Science in Singapore"

Category : events

"The Future of Marine Science in Singapore"
Wed 27 May 2015: 9.00am – 5.00pm

UTown Auditorium 2 (Stephen Riady Centre),
University Town, NUS [How to get here]

Please register at tinyurl.com/tmsi-fmss

Posted at 3:12PM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Mon 09 Feb 2015

"Love from Singapore" – sterilising feral dogs in Nepal protects wildlife, livelihoods and stops the culling: Debby Ng speaks about the Himalayan Mutt Project @ NUS LT34 on Wed 11 Feb 2015, 7.00pm

Category : events

Amidst the high Himalaya of Nepal, dogs and wildlife face a slow and excruciating death from rat poison. Canine attacks on livestock and threat of rabies transmission lead to desperate attempts to cull unwanted dogs. Poisoned dogs die a painful death and discarded carcasses are scavenged by wildlife such as vultures which face secondary poisoning.

On a quest to photograph red pandas, Debby Ng witnessed the problem and asked, what could be done to help the dogs, villagers, and the environment of Nepal’s high Himalaya? A sterilisation and vaccination plan was conceived and in four months, the first Himalayan Mutt veterinary expedition crossed rugged and challenging Himalayan trails up to a 3,900m elevation to neuter 153 dogs over two weeks.

Debby will share inspiring images of wildlife, local communities and the Himalayan Mutts as she explains how local veterinarians, community leaders and supportive individuals collaborated to make a difference to human health, animal welfare and the sensitive ecology of the Himalaya.

They will return to continue the work and we can help from Singapore. S$10 provides red collars to prevent small, sterilized dogs from culling and five rabies vaccinations! Help Himalayan Mutts at http:// pozi.be/mutts or approach NUS PEACE and NUS Toddycats on campus.

Click for pdf

Click to contribute

Posted at 1:12PM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Fri 16 Jan 2015

Sun 15 Feb 2015: 7.00am - The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk

Category : events

The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk
Sun 15 Feb 2015: 7.00am - 12.00pm

With the NUS Toddycats,
volunteers of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore

It is 13th February 1942, and the Japanese troops which have stormed through Malaya have invaded Singapore.

Approaching Singapore City from the west, a seasoned Japanese army is forced to engage the small force of the Malay Regiment on the high ground of Pasir Panjang Ridge.

A fierce battle is put up by men of the Malay Regiment amidst the confusion of aerial bombardement, smoke of a burning fuel dump, loss of communications and the early deaths of senior officers who had moved about to keep their men coordinated.

They would battle on for nearly two days and a company is wiped almost to the last man by the numerically superior Japanese on the eve of Chinese New Year.

The next day, on 15th of February, 1942, General Percival marches down Bukit Timah Road to surrender to General Yamashita of the Japanese Imperial Army at the Ford Factory.

The National University of Singapore is built on parts of old battleground and its forest still contains a 1930's military outpost which strategically oversees Jurong, Bukit Timah and Singapore City. In 1954, the Pasir Panjang ridge was renamed 'Kent Ridge,' and the old stone marker which commemorates this event persists to this day, often overlooked, at the Gap.

The accounts of the heroic battle left a strong impression on the Pasir Panjang Heritage Guides, aso we commemorate the Malay Regiment's defense of the ridge every year. We share with you stories about the Battle of Pasir Panjang, the geography, history and the flora and fauna of the area that first drew us to explore the ridge decades ago and explain how the ridge got its name.

Our route takes us from the National University of Singapore to Kent Ridge Road and the The Gap. We then make our way to Kent Ridge Park and end at Reflections of Bukit Chandu.

Everyone is welcome – you must wake up early enough to join us at 7am and be physically fit enough to walk 5km at a moderate pace with some stairs!

Registration

  • Please register so we have an idea of attendance, your contact for last minute updates and emergency contact .
  • Fill in the form at: http://tinyurl.com/bpp-reg
  • Meet us at the University Cultural Centre at 7.00am [map: http://tinyurl.com/map-nusucc]
  • This is a five hour walk and February is a hot month, so please bring at least a litre of water and some sandwiches or snacks. Rain is always possible so do bring an umbrella and waterproofing for your barang-barang!

Links

Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk, 13 Feb 2011
To explore the map, visit Google Maps

Posted at 9:09PM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Thu 22 May 2014

Submit your record of Lyssa zampa, the tropical swallowtail moth, in Singapore

Category : nature

The tropical swallowtail moth Lyssa zampa emerges in peak numbers every April to August. The numbers vary each year and are not always noticed, but 2014 appears to be a year of mass emergence, and may the largest since the mass emergence of 2005.

We have collated records of observations through Habitatnews since 2005 and welcome you to add your record of this phenomenon!

If you have seen Lyssa zampa,
please fill in the form at tinyurl.com/habitatnews-records
and send your photos to habitatnews@sivasothi.com.

Don't stop there - share the photos with your friends through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (nudge me at @sivasothi). Encourage them to spot Lyssa zampa around Singapore and submit their records too!

Thank you!

Sivasothi aka Otterman

Lyssa zampa at National Library Building, Level 10
Photo by Gan Su Lin, 22 Mar 2014

20140322-NLB-Level10[GanSuLin]

Posted at 12:13AM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Wed 09 Apr 2014

Wed 16 Apr 2014: 6.30m @ NUS LT25 An Evening of Biodiversity: "The Secret Lives of Mammals" (poster)

Category : events

Thanks to Yong An Nee of the Department of Biological Sciences for another one of her lovely posters which you can download here as a pdf. Remember, if you can join us on Wed 16 Apr 2014: 6.30pm - 8.30pm at NUS LT25, please register here!

20140409-EOB II poster for Habitatnews

Posted at 8:36PM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Tue 08 Apr 2014

Evening of Biodiversity 2014

Category : events

I am glad to announce "An Evening of Biodiversity: The Secret Lives of Mammals in Singapore” presented by six young graduates of the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. They share with us short stories about wild mammals from their recent student research and their hopes for Singapore's wildlife and heritage.

Come and be surprised by the stories about Singapore's wild leopard cats, small mammals, smooth-coated otters and the common palm civet. The graduates, Amanda Tan, Chloe Tan, Marcus Chua, Meryl Theng, Fung Tze Kwan & Xu Weiting do this as part of a desire to contribute to public awareness and the protection of our fragile ecosystems.

And they look forward to entertaining the audience!

An Evening of Biodiversity will be held on

Wed 16 Apr 2014: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Lecture Theatre 25 (next to the Science Canteen)
Science Drive 2
National University of Singapore
Please RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/eob2014-reg

Map: http://map.sivasothi.com
(Parking is available at Car Park 10 across the road)

Veteran vertebrate naturalist Yeo Suay Hwee of the Nature Society (Singapore) had these kind words for the group,

"I hope this kind of presentation become a tradition where I can see more and more young scientists and new graduates/undergraduates ready to contribute in protecting our fragile wildlife and the habitat."

I look forward to your company.

Do RSVP if you are able to join us and feel free to forward this invitation to family, friends and colleagues.

Thank you!

Cheerio!

Sivasothi aka Otterman
---
N. Sivasothi
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore


About the talks

Small mammals have rarely been studied in Singapore and after over a decade Amanda Tan conducted a study of the diversity and abundance of small mammals around the Eco-Link. Once again the value of our unique, precious and fragile Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was demonstrated and the importance of the new forest connection with the Central Catchment realised.

Chloe Tan took small mammal exploration island-wide for the first time, documenting diversity in nine sites of varying forest quality. Eight species and three habitats later, she realised we cannot be hasty about connecting all our green areas - what were her concerns?

Sometimes we conduct surveys just for completeness. But on April Fool's Day no less, the eyes of a leopard cat gleamed at Marcus Chua from amidst the undergrowth. After more than four decades, three populations provide relief about the longevity of this rare species but new issues emerge for our attention.

The smooth-coated otter ("anjing ayer") returned to Singapore in 1998 exactly as predicted - Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, where these fish-eaters enjoyed prawns too! In the northeast, otters spread from Pulau Ubin through Punggol and eventually south to Marina Bay! Meryl Theng tracked the otters, not only by foot but through the enthusiastic and generous submissions of Singaporeans delighted at the return of this wild carnivore.

The common palm civet is a wild carnivore nestled in our backyard but surprisingly poorly understood. At Pulau Ubin, poop-specialist Fung Tze Kwan was surprised to discover that civets favoured the fruits of the common fish-tail palm and improved the growth of its seedlings! When adopted as the logo of the Raffles Museum, the toddycat was entwined with a palm leaf – little did we realise this poorly studied pair was linked in an ecological partnership which may prove to be relevant in habitat restoration in the future.

As wildlife spreads in this garden city, they feel the pinch of space too. As Xu Weiting studied wildlife-human interactions, orphan civets needed care and the protocols which arose went online and helped civets elsewhere in Southeast Asia too! This furry animal is not always greeted with delight, sometime conflict arises. Awareness of these neighbourhood acrobats has helped to transform fear to delight and a hope in the hearts of young researchers of a future of greater co-existence.

Posted at 11:18PM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Wed 12 Mar 2014

Heron Watch - participate in the second island-wide survey of resident herons of Singapore

Category : events

Singapore's second island-wide count of herons will be conducted on Sat 05 Apr 2014, from 7am - 10am. The public is invited to participate by contributing sightings of herons in our neighbourhoods, canals and wooded parks.

Learn about herons, differences with similar looking birds, and their habits and biology at a training session on Sat 29 Mar 2014 at Singapore Botanic Gardens. All are invited to learn, just sign up by email with Yap Xinli (YAP_Xinli@NParks.gov.sg).

This assessment is important as Singapore's heron habitats face a variety of disturbances. So establishing a baseline is important. Large public participation in simultaneous counts with consistent methods will help establish a snapshot estimate of the bird population in Singapore.

Read about the first census conducted last year - "Where have all the herons gone?" By Grace Chua. The Sunday Times, 10 Dec 2013 [pdf].

Posted at 4:48PM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Mon 03 Feb 2014

Sat 15 Feb 2014: 7.00am - The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk

Category : events

The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk
Sat 15 Feb 2014: 7.00am - 12.00pm

With the Raffles Museum Toddycats,
volunteers of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research,
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, NUS

It is 13th February 1942, the Japanese troops which have stormed through Malaya have invaded Singapore.

Approaching Singapore City from the west, a seasoned Japanese army is forced to engage the small force of the Malay Regiment on the high ground of Pasir Panjang Ridge.

A fierce battle ensues amidst the confusion from the aerial bombardement, burning fuel, loss of communications and the early deaths of senior officers trying to keep their men coordinated.

The soldiers of the Malay Regiment battle on for nearly two days and a company is wiped almost to the last man by the numerically superior Japanese on the eve of Chinese New Year.

The next day, on 15th of February, 1942, General Percival marches down Bukit Timah Road to surrender to General Yamashita of the Japanese Imperial Army at the Ford Factory.

The National University of Singapore is built on parts of old battle ground and still contains a WWII military outpost that strategically oversees Jurong, Bukit Timah and Singapore City. In 1954, the ridge was renamed 'Kent Ridge,' and the old stone marker commemorating this event can still be seen today.

The accounts of the battle on Kent Ridge left a strong impression on the Pasir Panjang Heritage Guides, and thus we commemorate the Malay Regiment's defense of the ridge every year. We will share with you stories about the Battle of Pasir Panjang, the geography, history and the flora and fauna of the area that first drew us to explore the ridge decades ago and how the ridge got its name.

Our route takes us through the National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge Road, The Gap and Kent Ridge Park. We end at Reflections of Bukit Chandu, which is managed by the National Heritage Board.

Everyone is welcome if you can wake up early enough and are physically fit enough to walk some 5km at a moderately quick pace and climb some stairs.

Registration

  • Please register so we have an idea of numbers, your contact and emergency contact and are able to contact you about last minute updates.
  • Fill in the form at: http://tinyurl.com/bpp2014-reg
  • Meet us at the University Cultural Centre at 7.00am [map: http://tinyurl.com/map-nusucc]
  • This is a five hour walk and it can be hot in parts so please bring at least one litre of water and some sandwiches or snacks. It can always rain so do bring an umbrella too!

Links

Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk, 13 Feb 2011
To explore the map, visit Google Maps

Posted at 8:49PM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Fri 25 Oct 2013

Register (free) for the Climate Change Challenges in Cities Workshop, 18-19 Nov 2013 @ NUS LT32

Category : events

All are welcome - practioners, students and the curious alike. Organiser Amy Choong says,

"I invite you and your colleagues to attend this workshop on Climate Change Challenges in Cities. For more information on the programme and speakers, and to register, please go to climatechangechallengescities.wordpress.com.

This workshop is free but please register so that we can cater the right amount of food. Please help forward to your colleagues if they are interested in this topic. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you."

Find out more and register at: http://climatechangechallengescities.wordpress.com

‎otterman.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/climate-change-challenges-in-cities.pdf

Posted at 6:51PM SGT by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Read more ...

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