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Fri 29 Oct 2004

Try your hand at nature guiding!

Category : marine

Clueless about the mangroves? But determined to contribute to nature?
Try Station or Group Guiding during the Sungei Buloh Anniversary Walk!

During this course, you will learn enough to guide at one station. With the help of some props, humour and just eight hours of training, you will contribute as part of a dynamic team!

On 5th December Station Guides will help convey the treasures of the mangroves at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve to the public in an easy and enjoyable way.

Group Guides, chatty people who will learn the route, get to know all the station guides well and pick up an overview of the mangroves will bring the public from station to station.

This is the 8th year we have been conducting the Sungei Buloh Anniversary Walk, in conjunction with, well, the birthday of the reserve as well as mine!

Training and guiding dates:
Sat 20 Nov: 2pm - 6pm (content training)
Sun 28 Nov: 9am - 1pm (guiding techniques)
Sun 05 Dec: 1pm- 6pm (actual event)

If you are interested, and can make it all three dates, send an email to: bulohguide@sivasothi.com

Please include you:
1. Full name
2. Handphone number
3. Station Guide or a Group Guide?

You will receive a reply.

Posted at 12:22PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Fri 29 Oct 2004

What are they so excited about?

Category : marine

Find out on Saturday, 6th Nov, 8am - 7pm. Look for the BWV booth at the Clean and Green week bazaar's Green Market in the field opposite Yew Tee MRT Station.

Posted at 12:05PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Fri 29 Oct 2004

Axing trees may lead to higher fines

Category : news

"Axe trees illegally? Bigger fine likely." By Alexis Hooi, The Straits Times, 27 Oct 2004 [pdf].

"A new law being considered in Parliament proposes to raise the maximum fine for those who cut down trees marked for conservation from $10,000 to $50,000.

The move comes in the wake of a rise last year in the number of protected trees illegally cut down. A spokesman for the National Development Ministry on Monday said 28 trees were illegally felled last year, up from 17 in 2002. Most of the offenders were contractors and developers, added the spokesman."

Interstingly, I read this as I was leaving for a workshop to teach students about the Hopea sangal - the extinct tree that was rediscovered in September 2002 and felled in November 2002. The culprit was fined $8,000 for the offense and paid the state $76,035 for the value of the tree.

The presiding District Judge Kow Keng Siong in his court ruling stated "Unfortunately, having weathered more than a century of the forces of nature, it was not able to survive the senseless act of man."

See the Hopea sangal timeline for details.

Posted at 12:04PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Fri 29 Oct 2004

Laurence Kuah illustrates: fines for animal abuse, smuggling too low

Category : animalwelfare

Chief Justice Yong Pung Ho called Laurence Kuah Kok Choon 'an international smuggler of birds of endangered species' in November 2000.

Now a farm licensed by Indah Fauna Breeding and Research in the convicted smuggler's name is found with 600 animals. Supposedly overseas, two maids were left to care for them. The New Paper alerted the AVA.

Of the 106 dogs found, fewer than 10 were roaming freely. 'AVA's centre for animal welfare and control, 37-year veteran K Madhavan, has not seen such bad breeding conditions for dogs.' "'I've not seen something like this, not on this scale. Usually there are only 10 to 20 dogs in poor condition,' he said."

'Amongs the other animals were 44 highly endangered species - Black Palm Cockatoos, Bali Mynahs, Great Indian Hornbills and Moluccan Cockatoos - species listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).'

"There was also a leopard cat, three skinks (a kind of lizard), three crocodile lizards and two softshell turtles."

Laurence Kuah was convicted of animal smuggling or smugling related activities in 1994 (then aged 20, fined A$10,500), 1996 (fined $3,200), 1997 ($6,300), 1999 (fined $10,000), 2000 ($10,000 and 1 year's jail). Animals involved in these cases suffered.

Animal abuse is punishable by up to one year's jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

It doesn't seem to be enough of a deterrent.

AVA officers last checked the premises in late August. They need a law with more severe penalties to back them up.

Read teh complete article, "100 dogs living in urine and filth," by Teh Jen Lee Jen Lee, The New Paper, 28 Oct 2004.

Posted at 2:10AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news