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N. Sivasothi,
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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Fri 19 Mar 2004

Otter encounter at Kranji mangroves

Category : nature

"Hi Siva,

On the 13th of March last Saturday, I was in Kranji mangroves taking photos and collecting soil-types for my UROPs project [Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Science]. Walking towards the sea at the mouth of the stream, I heard rustling to the right of my position.

Searching for the source I finally fixed on a dark object moving along the mudflats. Instantly (because Siva is Otterman) I recognised IT'S AN OTTER!

Excited, I fumbled for the camera. The otter seemed to have discovered my existence too. After a second or two exchanging looks (during which I took the photo), it sprinted towards the mangroves in great haste. The otter made a large semi-circular detour around me, crossed the stream and disappeared in the direction of the channel between KR4 and Buloh East [towards Sungei Buloh].

Which left me standing there, relishing the moment, for just a little while longer.

Cheers, Fiona"

Otters have been spotted regularly in Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve and environs since a pair first appeared in late November 1998. In May 2000, cubss were spotted and made famous by Nick Baker's now famous photographs.

Fiona first saw the Smooth otters at Sungei Buloh five years ago. She was then a JC1 student from SAJC who had come for the 1999 ICCS recce trip. Now a 3rd undergraduate in NUS, she is working on a research project on horseshoe crabs, alongside Yen Ling, who is studying mangrove shrimp. Both are veterans of the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) and the annual Sungei Buloh Anniversary Walk.- Otterman

Posted at 2:34PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Fri 19 Mar 2004

Hornbills on Kent Ridge

Category : nature

On 11th March 2004, Lau Yie Hui (who happens to hail from Sarawak) saw the Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis) on Kent Ridge at NUS' KE7 Hall.

Thanks to Goh Wah Ing for the alert.

Earlier, on 7th February 2004, NUS' botany professor Hugh Tan was at Kent Ridge Park. A hornbill swooped down to grab bread that visitors had originally thought to offer the denizens of the pond there. Happily Hugh Tan had his camera handy and fired off a couple of shots when it rested on a distant tree. He now takes credit for the earliest decent photo of the Kent Ridge hornbill circulating amongst us in NUS. Much to the chagrin of the zoologists in the department.

Some Malaysian students in the new Sheare's Hall raised the eyebrows of their biology student hostelmates when they casually remarked about a hornbill sighting. I hope to get that account soon for Habitatnews.

This is all part of a continuing saga of the Hornbills of Kent Ridge that I am compiling for the Kent Ridge Heritage webpage. Dating back at least to the early 90's, hornbill sightings have been fairly frequent, believed to be escapees, were not different individuals and species over time. See comments by Subaraj Rajathurai from some amusing records in 2002!

In the meantime, many informed viewers have rubbed their eyes in disbelief!

Posted at 2:00PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Fri 19 Mar 2004

Nature titles at Big Book shop counter, opposite Somerset MRT

Category : books

Found myself in town after a talk and saw a counter of books. Several titles were suitable for children and adults alike. All in full colour. Some were also suitable as a technical reference. With little distribution maps and information about status.

Cashier said they will be there until April.

$39.90 - The encyclopedia of animals. Mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Weldon Owen Pty. Ltd., 1993. Reprinted 2003. 687pp. Excellent book!
$79.90 - Animal. The definitive visual guide to the world's wildlife.Dorling Kindersley, 2001. 624pp.
$9.90 - Living Reefs of the Indo-Pacific. A photographic guide. Rob van der Loos, 2001. 175pp. Colour plates.
$19.190 - Encyclopedia of Discovery: Reptiles and Insects. Weldon Owen Pty. Ltd., 2003. 608pp. Covers Reptiles and amphibiand, insects and spiders.
$22.90 - Animals of the World. Mustard, 1999. 256pp. First 99 pages c covers invertebrates.

Other titles
$9.90 - Colour in Nature. A visual and scientific exploration. Penelope A. Farrant. Blanford, 1999. 202pp.
$22.90 - 4,000 things you should know about animals.
$22.90 - Fantastic world of animals.

Posted at 7:14AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news