Mon 07 Mar 2005
Papers in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology - Aquatic Beetles of Singapore
Category : articles
One of the roles of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research in NUS is to encourage the fundamental work of taxonomy - putting a name to a species. It does this in numerous ways, and establishing and maintaining a faunal collection from local and regional ecosystems is a critical rrole of the museum.
Besides curating and categorising faunal collections, staff also describe new species. Since there are too few taxonomists to handle the overwhleming diversity within even a country as small as Singapore, the international commmunity of taxonomists are involved in this process. Experts work within a specific faunal group but across national boundaries and help unravel the diversity of the fauna in within the distribution of the group they are concerned with.
When a researcher visits, a lot of work is initiated to facilitate a productive visit - logistics, administration and hospitality. E.g. setting up bench space and equipment, getting permission to collect in reserves (NParks to their credit, responds efficiently), organising field trips to habitats, some of which disappear in intervening decades!
One of the rewards that emerge within a couple of years is seeing the work published and become available. There are many taxonomic and biodiversity journals, and authors all over the world. Some contribute papers to The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, which is published by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research. A significant advantage of this journal is the availability of its papers in pdf format for free and immediate download. This bibliography covers even the first issue, published in 1928!
To help you get a taste of the journal, papers relevant to the fauna of Singapore will be featured in Habitatnews on an irregular basis. And I begin with an interesting paper on water beetles!
Hendrich, L., Balke, M. & Yang, C.M, 2004. Aquatic Coleoptera of Singapore: species richness, ecology and conservation. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 51(1): 97-145. - link to pdf file.
Abstract. - This is the first comprehensive review of the aquatic Coleoptera, or water beetles, of Singapore. A total of 93 species are reported here. They are: Noteridae (9), Gyrinidae (9), Dytiscidae (35), Spercheidae (1), Hydrophilidae (30), Hydraenidae (3), Limnichidae (3), Curculionidae (2), and Chrysomelidae (1). The water beetle fauna of Singapore is mainly Oriental with a high percentage of Sundaic faunal elements.
Thirty species (32%) are first recorded for Singapore. However, eight species are believed to be locally extinct, and 27 species (29%) are listed as threatened. The main causes of species becoming endangered are deforestation and change of ground water level in the vicinity of springs; as well as waste water pollution and infill.
The water beetle communities of the main habitat types are briefly outlined. For each species all literature references are cited, and the distribution and ecology are described. A brief account on the conservation status and future prospects of Singapore's aquatic beetle fauna is given.
The section of conservation is extracted here:
Mon 07 Mar 2005
The Great Gmail Giveaway
Category : internet
If you need a 1GB Gmail account, just email me at: and indicate in the subject line, "gmail account please." You will receive an invitation within a day.
There seems to be an endless supply but for some reason, it's still available only by invitation.
So what's so great about gmail? Free, 1GB storage, POP, forwarding, search not sort mail, import contacts (csv) from existing programes, desktop notifiers, limited rss feed, threaded messaging, integration with Picasa (also free) - send 10MB photos, keyboard shortcuts, etc. See what's new.
Mon 07 Mar 2005
"Spread the word: It's hip to be green"
Category : envt
"They are young, they are hip - and best of all, they are green.
There is already a small group of young Singaporeans who are passionate about environmental issues such as climate change, nature conservation and sustainability.
Now Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim wants them to spread the word to others, starting with their peers.
Dr Yaacob believes the answer still lies with the younger generation: 'Yes, the Government should be taking the lead, but I want to get the young interested,' he said.
He proposed getting tertiary students, like members of Nanyang Technological University's green club Earthlink NTU, to aggressively run programmes to create awareness within their college community.
'Young people will listen only to young people,' he said."