Fri 14 Jul 2006
Sat 15 Jul 2006: 3pm - "Dolphins, Turtles and Otters"
Category : marine
Woodlands Regional Library, 3.00pm, Sat 15 Jul 2006. "Dolphins, Turtles, Otters and Other Secrets of Singapore!"
"Trekking in the mangroves, I spied a Smooth otter swimming silently through a river channel. Resting on sand ledge, a crocodile took in the warm rays of the sun. Dolphins burst through the waves,sea cows grazed the sea grass offshore and turtle hatchlings struggled over sand to reach the waves and safety of the sea."
Join zoologist N. Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman, Research Officer, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research as he reveals these unbelievable scenes and more secrets of Singapore's marine life.
Free admission and no registration is required. Organised by Eco@Woodlands, National Library Board. Contact: National Library at 6332 3255
Wed 24 May 2006
Hawksbill turtle hatchling rescue at East Coast Park
Category : marine
23 May 2006 - NParks was alerted by a member of the public at about 9pm - about turtle hatchlings crawling inshore and getting stuck in drains! Derek Yap of NParks called me and I called others and soon a bunch of NParks staff, the members of public who originally alerted us, staff and volunteers from Raffles Museum, Nature Society (Singapore) and Blue Water Volunteers joined hands to scour the area of hatchlings.
After three hours, we managed to salvage and release 76 from the track, drains and shore. Two died and one will be preserved and deposited into the Raffles Museum's Zoological Reference Collection.
I called resident turtle expert C H Diong from NIE/NTU; he was of the opinion a nesting site was nearby; but we were unable to find it. NParks staff will try to look for it again in the morning. He also suggested we release the hatchlings the same night, but allow them to crawl down a dark beach and head into the sea. Finding a dark beach in Singapore is not easy and we settled for Changi Beach extension which was relatively near.
It was wonderful seeing the hatchlings swim away but we wondered if they'd make it out to sea; the light pollution from the shore disorientates this animal that would otherwise follow starlight out to sea and relative safety.
It was heartwarming to note that the original group of youth who saw the turtles clambered all over the track had helped to collect the turtles, call NParks, find pails, clamber head first into the drain etc., and had even tried to return the turtles to sea. Their final act was possibly thwarted by the presence of artificial lights on shore that sent the hatchlings in the wrong direction in the first place.
The marine volunteers who were activated at sudden notice all turned up cheerful and eager to help. When we finished at about 1am, they thanked me for alerting them! Had there been more hatchlings, I'd have rounded up more than the dozen who came and I know they would have come enthusiastically just like these ones did. There are a lot of people out there with a lot of heart!
If any of the hatchlings survive the many trials of life at sea, they will eventually return to Singapore in about 30 years! Wonder what sort of shore will greet them then. And I wonder too, about their mother, who silently came ashore one night, without detection and laid he clutch.
Thanks for the date correction, Jeff Low. This was posted at 3.25am after I came back, and it was a struggle to stay awake long enough to string sentences together. Kept fallling asleep mid-sentence, waking up and getting it wrong all over again!