An old friend from The Philippines, Lyca Sandrea G. Castro dropped by to visit Meryl Theng and myself to chat about … otters of course!
Lyca and later her student studied the diet, distribution and threats to small-clawed otters in Palawan Island, The Philippines.
There’s lot more to do as the island sees an increase in mining activities and otters are captured for trade. As we chatted in the Science Canteen, we decided to raise awareness about the otters in Palawan by starting a webpage, http://palawanotters.wordpress.com
While Lyca is here, we’ll see if she can catch a glimpse of our smooth-coated otters at Pasir Ris or Lorong Halus. That’ll be a treat!
Primate researcher Amanda Tan is tweeting her observations about the Hindhede group of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) from Bukit Timah. This is the best-studied group of long-tailed macaques in Singapore.
“being preggers must be tiring. Annette takes a quick snooze (:”
Native to Southeast Asia, there are ten subspecies and the one present here is Macaca fascicularis fascicularis, described in the scientific literature by none other than Sir Stamford Raffles in 1821.
Truly Singaporean, these monkeys been here for a much longer time than any of us!
What do macaques do, in the course of a day? Father, mother, grandmother, daughters, sons and young uns, foraging, playing, grooming, social interactions and snoozing.
Amanda knows them all so follow her tweets at @thelongtails to learn about this troop of long-tailed macaques, one of several in Singapore, and a precious and treasured part of our wildlife.
I have had a few records trickle in, enough to get me hopeful. Will we see more of Lyssa zampa this year? There is a peak emergence around the mid-year, which is difficult to detect annually, but can make an impression every few years, with the public sharing records with each other, and from unlikely places too.
Trying to determine an emergence peak is never an easy thing to try in the tropics. We lack the distinct patterns of seasonality of temperate regions but still, observers of nature can sniff out “seasons” after years of observation.
Lyssa zampa is the second largest of our moths and makes an impression with children and adults alike. Chatting with my older volunteers, we realise island-wide sightings have become less obvious with the reduction of vegetation cover.
In 2005, Lyssa zampa made a big impression and I collected sightings from around the island. The next big emergence was 2010, on a slightly smaller scale. Local naturalists are alert about such things now, do do keep a lookout and alert me. Is this a ‘murmur’ year or a year of distinct emergence?
The photo above was sent to me just now by Lim Chen Kee, from my International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) team. He also sent me pictures in 2005, after an ICCS meeting! He was a undergrad then!
Please help by submitting records of encounters here: http://tinyurl.com/habitatnews-records and we’ll figure out what’s the emergence pattern like this year.
For old stories of Lyssa zampa, see Habitatnews
and this blog.
Prepping my slides next to a power source.
The pre-Hackathon Workshop is great: Nature/Environment godfather Leo Tan spoke about Singapore’s greening, Jon Peterson is speaking about Cleanlah and his other “lah” (Denguelah, Weatherlah) apps and after me will be Krishnan who developed DonorWeb which tracks blood donor stocks.
Nice way to spend Earth Day.
I’m at the Science Centre Singapore, watching the Science Communication students from MW5202 set up The Mendel for their Bucket Science Symposium.
It’s still 90 minutes before showtime, and theory are sorting out equipment and sequence. It looks to be an an enjoyable show!
I must remember I’m supposed to do grading in the midst of all this excitement. This is their final assignment of their module.
All the best folks!
On Earth Day (Mon 22 Apr 2013), I’m speaking at the pre-Hackathon Workshop at the *SCAPE. This event precedes the Clean & Green Hackathon spread over three days (26 – 28 April 2013) at Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium, NUS’ University Town.
I’ll talk about marine life, the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, how we handle data, citizen contributions of mammal records and more along that line.
I told the organiser Ciaran Lyons about how I pass off five html commands as coding experience and he was delighted – “we are trying to attract a diverse range of skills, and a lot of people are unsure of themselves: “how can I be of help if I can’t code?” So that’s a great answer!”
So I’ll also add rapid sharing of expedition data between 10 countries to promote cooperation, redirecting help during the 2004 tsunami and other stories with a touch of digital backbone.
Hope over to cgs.sg/hackathon find out more.
Yesterday, my blood-sucking former student Amanda Tan made good her pledge to return some blood by making her THIRD blood donation! I’m really proud of my blood kaki as she used to be fearful of needles.
That fear is not completely erased but lurking somewhere, for a trainee nurse saw her smiling face and yet reassured her that a fully trained nurse would attend to her donation!
When Amanda’s blood started flowing, the machine beeped so the nurse returned to hold her arm at an appropriate angle. This prevented an interrupted flow and took her eight minutes this time to complete her donation. The nurse said this was fine.
Our haemoglobin levels had changed from our last visit, but still high enough – they were 14.4 g/dL and 16.4 g/dl on 22 Dec 2012. Yesterday our levels were 13.6g/dl and 15.7g/dl.
Meanwhile Ladybug cut her finger (again) and once again realised it was a dark red instead of Bandung pink! She must be at at 13g/dl and eligible to donate once her work clears up.
And we’re also waiting for Civetgirl to recover and be rested for her donation. More blood parties soon!
A lovely friend is in hospital, and has lost lots of blood. I’m grateful for the blood she has received from strangers. They have been my inspiration since young.
Amanda is just starting but young and enthusiastic. She is reminding me of Cheng Puay’s Sec 4 girls who started donating at sweet 16!
This was blood donation number 111 for me. I’m happy to keep at this as long as I can.
The Master of Science (Environmental Management) (MEM) Alumni are organising a seminar with the Nature Society Singapore (NSS) and have put together a session wth NSS stalwart Leong Kwok Peng stalwart and myself.
I learnt that the moderator might be none other than ICCS Otter Ng Kai Scene. I have also told the organiser not to give me anything (except for a handshake, I suppose), so that we don’t generate waste. In fact I insisted as Coordinator of the International Coastal Cleanup.
The two talks that evening are by these two old fogies:
- “From Railway Track to Green Corridor,” by Leong Kwok Peng.
- “Our Natural Heritage in Singapore – Diversity, Impacts and Challenges,” by N. Sivasothi
The Rail Corridor story is a very interesting story and I am looking forward to hearing about it. all put together by Kwok Peng that morning. I will give an enthusiastic talk and seeing how MEM students will be present, I can push it beyond the usual.
Saturday, 11 May 2013: 9.00am – 12:30pm
@ The Auditorium, Shaw Foundation Alumni House,
National University of Singapore,
11 Kent Ridge Drive, Singapore 119244
Fee: S$10 (public); S$5 (student)
Postere here and register here
Christmas – New Year light up, a lifetime ago, down Orchard Road with my secondary school classmates. Looking forward to see them in Krabi in 41 days.
Photo by Stephen Cheok