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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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Thu 30 Jun 2005

Survey on neighbourhood parks

Category : nature

Jasper, Seth and Weiren from Raffles Institution are working on a project on neighbourhood parks.

'Neighbourhood parks may not be fully utilised by residents of Singapore and they would like to find out what kind of park people actually want versus what exists.

They hope to obtain honest feedback to aid them in coming up with suggestions for improvements that would be forwarded to the relevant authorities like URA and HDB.'

Take their survey!

Posted at 4:29PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Thu 30 Jun 2005

Parit Jawa's famous Pantai Leka to be gazetted a bird park.

Category : malaysia

"Pantai Leka to be gazetted as bird park." New Straits Times, 30 Jun 2005.

"MUAR, JOHOR, Wed. - Pantai Leka in Parit Jawa, about 10 kilometres from here, which is one of the four stopovers of migratory birds in Johor, will be gazetted as a bird park soon. Johor National Park Corporation (JNPC) director Hashim Yusoff said the corporation will recommend to the State Government to protect and preserve the beach which could be an important site for eco-tourism. He said some 250 Lesser Adjutant storks (Leptoptilos javanicus) had been sighted at the Endau-Rompin National Park, Tanjung Piai, Batu Pahat and Parit Jawa recently.

"We need to conserve mangrove forests in these areas to protect the rare species," he told reporters after visiting Pantai Leka here today. Hashim said the 20ha mudflat on the beach which provides food and shelter for migratory birds has to be protected at all costs. Hashim said uncontrolled cutting of mangrove trees should be avoided in the areas as it would destroy the birds' habitat.

Meanwhile, droves of bird lovers, visitors and tourists converge at the fishing village daily to observe migratory birds such as storks, cranes, egrets. Pantai Leka has about 40 Lesser Adjutant storks at any time along the beach.

Parit Jawa Fishermen's Association secretary Koh Kwee Heong welcomed the idea to set up the bird park. Local bird lover, Mansur Poh, commended JNPC for taking the step, adding that any failure to preserve the beach will lead to an extinction of many bird species."

For more information and photos of Parit Jawa, which has attracted Singapore bird-watchers for years, see:

Posted at 7:19AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Thu 30 Jun 2005

"Adopt a reef" explained; time to learn more

Category : marine

On Tuesday (28 Jun 2005) morning, some Straits Times readers were pleasantly surprised by news of an "Adopt-a-reef" programme (see Raffles Museum News for the article).

Ngiam Shih Tung, reminiscing about Ayer Chawan of old, asked the Nature Singapore mailing list for a second opinion. Jeffrey Low, formerly from the NUS Reeef Ecology Study Team (the predecessor of the NUS Marine Lab, and both under the supervision of Prof Chou Loke Ming) discussed some of the issues .

Last night (29 Jun 2005) Jani Thuaibah of NUS Marine Lab, explained the project in "The Blue Tempeh", the blog where she'd been posting hints about what she's been up to with Reef Enhancement Units (REUs).

Now she also says in no uncertain terms, "...if we put a couple of thousand of these REUs down and STILL have our waters as sedimented as it is you CANNOT expect the REUs to do their job!"

She's right, this is no miracle cure for the ills of the past. We have lost more than half our reefs, and the less than half the live coral cover survives on the remaining reefs. It is going to take a lot of determination by all concerned, government, people, businesses, etc., to leave more than just silted rock in our southern waters to future generations, even as many have begun to discover the joy of our reefs and take pride in this invaluable heritage.

Meanwhile, Prof Chou, who has witnessed the relentless degradation over the decades, remains optimistic.

"It's not a question of...creating instant reefs, but my feeling is it's not too late to save them."

So take heart and this is good enough a time to begin to discover your marine heritage. A great opportunity presents itself - Debby Ng of the Pulau Hantu blog will share with us a year of discoveries from dives at Pulau Hantu. She is giving a free public talk this Saturday, 2nd July 2005 at the library@Orchard, 3pm - 4pm. Meet her and the Blue Water Volunteers, view the exhibition and discusss these issues with an experienced crew. And sign up for forthcoming dives.

See also earlier Habitatnews entries on Pulau Hantu.

Debby Ng spoke quite concisely on MediaCorp's NewsRadio 93.8 FM on Tue 18 Jan 2005 from 10.30am-12.00pm. Debby spoke with Donna Cheng about Pulau Hantu, a celebration of marine life - how she started blogging, the dives, new discoveries and the issues.

Download the mp3: Part I - Part II - Part III

Posted at 12:41AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news