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

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Tue 08 May 2007

Videos of dolphin's sighted off St. John's Islands, 7th Apr 2007

Category : marine

Tan Sijie has posted two videos up at YouTube that he took of dolphin's off St. John's Island on 7th April 2007. It's not high grade footage so you have to squint, but its still much better than Tse Lynn's handphone video though, that was probably the toughest to view.

But we are enthralled by dolphins and relisheach and every record, so do send them in - you can email me at .

Sijie says,

"The dolphins were spotted on ... Saturday (7 April) around 8.36am. I believe they were seen off Lazarus in the background, if I'm not wrong.

I was walking the shores in the morning when a friend who took the 8.30am ferry back to mainland Singapore saw the dolphins and called us. So we climbed the breakwater to see the dolphins. They were swimming into the channel, I guess, and were really far away."

In the first clip, I can see them in the top right near the end of the footage. The second clip is blur but you can make out more activity.

Dolphins at St John's Island, Singapore 1 (07 Apr 2007)

Dolphins at St John's Island, Singapore 2 (07 Apr 2007)

Thanks Ria, for the referral and reminder!

Previous reports of dolphin sightings recorded in Habitatnews:

  1. "Fri 06 Jan 2006 - Dolphins spotted off Raffles Lighthouse." 11 Jan 2006. Reasonably clear video footage of a pod, the closest view so far.
  2. "Dolphins sighted off St. John's Island." 02 Sep 2005. Photos from handphone.
  3. "Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin carcass on Labrador Beach." 15 Jun 2005.
  4. "Dolphin's off St. John's island." 01 Feb 2005.
  5. "Dolphins off Pulau Senang." 04 Jan 2005.
  6. "Dolphins sighting at Sisters islands." 22 Jun 2004.
  7. "Dolphins sighted off St John's Islands." 12 Mar 2004. Still the best set of photos, albeit of the dorsal fin!

Posted at 2:26PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Tue 08 May 2007

Environmental report available for viewing for 4 weeks from 02 May 2007

Category : marine

Retrieved from Government Gazette: Current Notices:

Notice - Environmental report for disposal of dredged material at designated containment site east of Pulau Semakau. 02 May 2007.

The Public Utilities Board plans to dredge sediment material from Sungei Punggol and Sungei Serangoon. The dredged material will be placed in the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's designated containment site east of Pulau Semakau. Studies have been carried out to determine the environmental impact of this activity.

The environmental report is available, for public viewing by appointment, at the Environment Building, 40 Scotts Road, Singapore 228231 for 4 weeks with effect from 2nd May 2007.

To view the said report, please contact Mr Sim Hock Lai at 67313820 or via email at .

Anyone who wishes to inspect the said report after 29th May 2007 can contact Mr Sim Hock Lai to make arrangements to view it.

"First published in the Government Gazette, Electronic Edition, on 2nd May 2007 at 5.00 pm."

So where is that designated site east of Semakau exactly? You'll have to read the report to see. But for the geographically-challenged Singaporean, rest assured its not ON the coral reefs west of Semakau. Or on Pulau Hantu.

Just thought I'd mention that :-)

Posted at 9:30AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Tue 08 May 2007

The Natural Heritage of Singapore, 2nd ed.

Category : news

A national heritage

When I was a student, we inspected every millimeter of "The City and the Forest: Plant Life in Urban Singapore " by Wee Yeo Chin and Richard Corlett which was published in 1987. It provided a fairly detailed account of the various plant species left in ecosystem types in Singapore today.

20 years later, I am pleased to announce a similar volume, that should be examined in detail by novice and naturalist alike, "The Natural Heritage of Singapore." This is actually the second edition whjch has been published recently with colour pictures.

The authors

The authors are familiar names in the biodiversity circle: Hugh Tan, Chou Loke Ming, Darren Yeo and Peter Ng, all Singaporean academics at the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, with many decades of research experience in terrestrial and aquatic ecology, botany, zoology and conservation biology of Singapore and Southeast Asia amongst them.

This book was also built on the resources of the community and the many people they received help from, consulted and discussed the book with are listed in the acknowledgments and is equally fun to read!

This one you will understand

If it reads somewhat like a textbook, it is because it was inspired by the need to provide a text book for undergraduates in the National University of Singapore who took the "Singapore Studies" module. As such, the descriptions are straight-forward and several issues are discussed in an understandable manner as the text is meant for non-biologists.

This will allow a wide spectrum of readers to gain a grasp of our precious natural heritage that still survives today. When I was a kid, few local resources were available. With this and others that emerged since, many a young mind will get a head start and hopefully this will lead to sensible choices about and greater enjoyment of our natural heritage in our future.

The internet disconnect

The book sadly has not tapped the many credible and up to date resources about Singapore natural history that have emerged online since 1999. Well, that's food for thought for the 3rd edition perhaps.

The book chapters

  1. Singapore's Natural Heritage
  2. Primary Vegetation
  3. Secondary Vegetation
  4. Waste- and Reclaimed Land
  5. Coastal Vegetation
  6. Intertidal Habitats
  7. Subtidal Habitats
  8. Managed Habitats
  9. Human Impacts and Conservation
  10. The Importance of Biodiversity in Singapore's context
  11. Perspectives and Challenges in Preserving Natural Heritage


The Natural Heritage of Singapore, 2nd ed. is now available at the National University of Singapore's Science Co-op for S$23.30 (next to the Lim Tseng Tjoe Lecture Theatre, LT27, see map). In major bookstores in town, e.g. Borders, Kinokuniya, MPH, Popular and Times, the cost is about $29.50. All prices cited with GST.

Posted at 7:29AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news