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Sun 30 May 2004

Tectaria vasta in Labrador - new record for Singapore

Category : news

On Wed 19 May 2004, Joseph Lai and Angie Ng were looking out for the Dipteris conjugata fern that once populated Labrador forest. This is the fern that historically led to Labrador's gazzeting but has since disappeared. This is also the same elusive fern that Joseph and colleagues discovered, to great delight, on Pulau Sarimbun in March 2003.

Well, at Labrador Angie and Joseph stumbled onto something else which was just as interesting - Tectaria vasta, and many were spore-bearing!

After consulting Holttum's Flora of Malaya - they had it 'nailed down by the indusiate sori and the winged stipes - all thanks to Holttum's insightful comparative description'.

"T. vasta appears to be a new record for Singapore and a worthy candidate for conservation efforts as it is rarely seen even in the primary hill forests of Malaysia. T. vasta ranges from Thailand in the north, through the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and further south to Java and Borneo.

It is hoped that this new discovery of T. vasta will add greater significance to the newly designated nature reserve status of Labrador, and give the fern its pride and place in Singapore's flora and natural history."

Read the complete article at Joseph's Earth webpage. Well done Jo and Angie, and thanks for sharing the news so quickly!

In 2001, Singapore's Minister for National Development, Mr Mah Bow Tan, announced that Labrador Nature Area (and Sungei Buloh Nature Park) would be "legislated as Nature Reserves under the National Parks Act". These would in fact be modern Singapore's first two nature reserves.

Posted at 7:24PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news