Thu 26 Feb 2004
Greetings to blogging in 2004!
Category : about
Habitatnews has been quiet for some three months now. With a return to research imminent, I entertained thoughts of abandoning this newsletter and webpage as I was already struggling to cope.
But I tend to encounter a lot of information and the approximately 1,000 of you out there seem interested. The five-year old Habitatnews also serves a specific niche which compliments the efforts of Nick Baker and Ria Tan who maintain Ecology Asia and WildSingapore respectively.
But I had to find a simpler way to carry on.
Habitatnews began in 1998 with the appearance of OneList, an innovative idea that led to a mushrooming of thousands of mailing lists. Once again, another internet phenomenon would help Habitatnews reach out, and this time it is the simple blog, or weblog or web diary.
There werenıt too many models around, so with the help of a fellow macaddict Bernard Teo, I started my own blog last year. I found it relatively easy, quick to use and maintain with my macintosh iBook. So Habitatnews now follows suit. The newsletter will be less frequent but more news will be posted more frequently here where it will also be easier to display the numerous digital photos and webpages that are emerging.
This blog also heralds a friendlier and more personal tone that many seem to prefer!
Naturalists have always helped out Habitatnews. But now, Iıll also be looking for Subeditors. Carefully chosen subeditors, for issues of timing and verification, though tiresome, are important. Age will thus not be a criteria.
So here's to another five but easier years for starters.
Thu 26 Feb 2004
The New Paper today (26 Feb 2004): AVA raids on TCM shops: results
Category : news
Last October, The New Paper went undercover to see if tiger parts were being sold in Singapore's traditional medicine shops. As a result of the story, Want a piece of real tiger? published on 25 Oct 2003, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority conducted raids on 20 shops. TNP today (Thu 26 Feb 2004) features the results of their investigations in EcoWatch by reporter Teh Jen Lee.
Source: Teh Jen Lee, 26 Feb 2004
Thu 26 Feb 2004
"No Worms For Dinner", a delightful tale inspired by Chek Jawa
Category : books
No Worms For Dinner is delightful story about marine life at Chek Jawa depicted in a beautifully drawn picture storybook written and illustrated by Anna Lois Lai, a student of Raffles Girls' School.
We were first told about this by Tan Beng Chiak during the Biodiversity of Singaapore Symposium (BoSS) in July 2003. She had appraoched Anna, whom she knew was good at drawing. Anna says on the last page of the book, "I had never been an ardent nature lover". However, after "readings, research and discussions", she declares, "I had become a staunch nature enthusiast!"
They say its suitable for children between the ages of three and nine. I feel anyone who has spent any time at Chek Jawa, would enjoy the relaxing read. It includes 36 pages of colourful pictures and a 4-page-long glossary describing some of the animals that appear in the story. It was published by Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) in October 2003, costs S$12 and proceeds go to the Nature Society (Singapore).
For details, please visit their webpage.
Thu 26 Feb 2004
Marty and Ben get muddy Down Under
Category : articles
This is an email from a friend of mine Denise Goodfellow, who has native Australian roots, is a bird guide, author and trainer, amongst other things! In sending new year wishes and recounting the past year last December, she related this story. I often get muddy removing nets in our mangroves over the years, and never imagined I could ever call for help. But she did. She called the police! And guess what they did?
From: Denise Goodfellow, 15 Dec 2003
"...for those who've been made miserable by world events over the year, I hope this next story raises a laugh.
A couple of weeks ago my birdwatching class and I spotted a seine net strung across a channel deep in the Stuart Park mangroves. These nets are illegal in such areas. I also thought it possible that a bird running or flying along the channel might become entangled.
My students and I were sceptical that the police would attend, but they did, Constable Marty Tindall and Constable First Class Ben Martin. Then I wondered whether theyıd take one look at the mud and decided it wasnıt worth risking their nice uniforms.
But they followed me into the mangroves without hesitation. While Ben waited at the edge of the mangroves Marty (yes, we were on first name terms very quickly!) and I ploughed through mud, at times thigh- deep, to reach the net, taking turns to rescue each other when the going got tough and making jokes about "beyond the call of duty".
Marty attempted to destroy the net by cutting to shreds what he could reach, with his mud-covered Leatherman! However it was obvious that we needed to retrieve the whole net, and so Marty prepared to cross the rapidly filling channel. But I couldn't see how he'd do this without sinking to the waist in mud. He struggled down to the channel me following just in case he needed hauling out, but all we got for our troubles was muddier! By this time we looked as if a goodly part of us was covered in dark chocolate! I wished aloud for a camera but wouldn't have been able to hold it steady. We were laughing so much at each other's appearance we could hardly stand.
Then Ben joined us, and together we were finally able to break the branch to which the net was tied on the other side of the channel. They took the net and put it in their car, also giving me their card just in case I or other birdwatchers spot any other suspicious goings on in the area. I've commended the officers to the police commissioner and the NT Government.
May the New Year be all you wish it to be.