“A High-Resolution Map of Singapore’s Terrestrial Ecosystems” (Saw, Yee & Richards, 2019)

Gaw, L. Y. F., Yee, A. T. K., & Richards, D. R. (2019). A high-resolution map of Singapore’s terrestrial ecosystems. Data, 4(3), 116 [link].

SG-TerrstrialEcosystems

The classified map of high resolution images of Singapore from 2003 to 2018 is shown in Figure 1. The map has a maximum spatial resolution of 30 cm (as per the panchromatic resolution of WorldView-3). The area of each map class is shown in Table 1. The total non-marine area classified was 742.22 km2, of which 359.06 km2 (49 %) was covered by vegetation and 46.63 km2 (6 %) was covered with surface freshwater features. The remaining area was unvegetated land; consisting of built-up impervious sDuatrafa20c1e9s, 4o,f121684.10 km2 (38 %) and pervious surfaces of 53.00 km2 (7 %).

Grab the PDF of the paper for a better resolution than the image here.

Wild City – six 45-mins episodes though which to discover wildlife in Singapore

This series about wildlife in Singapore has excellent footage, lovingly shot by the team from Beach House Pictures of whom Claire Clements proved to be an inspiring naturalist and wildlife filmmaker. And as an additional treat many episodes were narrated by David Attenborough.

Monitorlizard_wildcity

The Wild City (Singapore) episodes are mostly on Youtube as well now (remember to select HD before watching):

  1. Wild City: Urban Wild (2015) [link]
  2. Wild City: Hidden Wild (2015) [link]
  3. Wild City: Islands (2016) [link]
  4. Wild City: Forest Life (2019) [link]
  5. Wild City: Secret World (2019) [CNA link]
  6. Wild City: River World (2020) [link]

Do also catch wildlife animal rescues charity ACRES at work with Wild City Rescue (8 episodes) on MeWatch [link]

Share your memories of Prof D H “Paddy” Murphy, RIP

We announced the peaceful departure of Prof D H “Paddy” Murphy last Saturday, and have been touched by the memories everyone has shared. We would love to hear your stories of learning and exploring with him and invite you to use the form at https://tinyurl.com/paddymurphy-rip.

We will share the stories with his family and with the community through the NUS Biodiversity Crew (blog), which includes the many students past and present.

DHM memories

About Singapore’s primary & secondary forests (NParks video feat Shawn Lum)

This is an excellent video by NParks featuring forest ecologist Dr Shawn Lum, “Revealing Our Roots: Trees of Singapore”, who elegantly explains Singapore’s primary & secondary forests. I love the love the old footage interleaved into the explanation too.

As we gear up with the One Million Trees movement, it is important to appreciate the background against which we must sustain the 10-year effort.

This is now required viewing for all my students…

CLIck to join the One Million trees movement! OMT

Wed 23 Sep 2020: 8.00pm – Chatting with International Coastal Cleanup coordinators from Brunei & Malaysia and our global coordinator, Ocean Conservancy!

After chatting with local inspirations in the recent webinar, we are now very pleased to enjoy an evening with national coordinators in neighbouring Malaysia and Brunei, Theresa and Eliza, who will share how they have promote marine protection during this COVID-19 pandemic.

ICCSWebinar 23sep2020

And we are all very pleased to welcome Sarah Kollar from our intentional coordinator, Ocean Conservancy, to our time zone to share global perspectives! Sarah has been conversing with national coordinators for months during this pandemic as everyone figured out how best to handle coastal cleanups and education about marine environment issues during the pandemic.

Register for the Zoom session at https://tinyurl.com/iccs-chat23sep2020, and see you on Wednesday evening!

Singapore residents have free access to the print version of The Straits Times (Singpass or NLB account)

If you need to read a premium article in the local papers (I.e. paywall), and are a Singapore residents (with SingPass or an NLB account), you can access The Straits Times, The Business and six other SPH publications for free.

The free access was introduced in late April this year during “Circuit Breaker”, the mitigation response to the COVId-19 pandemic. This service was been extended indefinitely.

Just visit this NLB page https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/main/sphnewspapers. You can increase the text magnification to a comfortable size.

ST 2 page view

On a related note, NUS staff and students have access to newspaper and media archives in Factiva and Nexis Uni; just look up https://libportal.nus.edu.sg/.

Fri 04 Sep 2020: 8.00pm – Woo Chee Yoong shares tales of otters at Kuala Selangor Nature Park

I am really glad to be hosting our Malaysian otter colleague Woo Chee Yoong from Malaysian Nature Society who studies the otters at Kuala Selangor Nature Park. It’s where I first went to see otters in the wild in the early 90’s, and this is still a very important site today.

It’s exciting to be able to showcase otters researchers in Asia. My otter students Tina Liow and Anusha Shivram helped set this up and they get to know Chee Yoong and Annabel Pianzin in the process.

They are keen to visit Kuala Selangor now and we can’t wait to visit once we can.

This is the 4th talk on otters – the third was by Annabel Pianzin from Sabah, while the first two were of otters in Singapore.

Register to join us on Zoom on Fri 4th September 2020: 8.00pm.
WCY Otter Talk Poster Final

That amazing news about the Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network

One night in 1990, I trudged in the mud of Lim Chu Kang mangrove and realised it was not as dark as it should be. Walking towards the light, I realised the southern half of that mangrove had been cleared. I would learn later this was for aquaculture, and rue the decision for space was available inland which would have been just as suitable.

Instead a invaluable mangrove visited even by mangrove researchers from around the world had disappeared, just like that. No one had known, nor did anyone speak of it. We’ve been vigilant ever since, grimacing in anticipation of an inopportune interest in that piece of land.

Then came the news in 2017 and 2018 that the mangrove and mudflats at Lim Chu Kang and Mandai had been set aside as nature parks. And now the news in 2020 about the Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network. It will take a long time to sink in. Many hands had worked towards this goal over at least three decades, an they hail from many sectors of society: the active activist advocating for the site, the student toiling to build the knowledge their research would contribute, the individual and volunteer who reminded everyone that these sites exist, the managers who had looked after these sites and many a policy minion from behind a desk far from the mud, who all battled to see this day.

Their hearts must have all been gladdened by the news – a network, no less! I hope they took some time to chat with friends and family about the news or just took a break from a typically hectic pace of life to reflect on this wondrous news.

SBNPN2020

The culmination of all that effort handed baton to current teams from NParks and URA and led by the indefatigable Desmond Lee at MND, to deliver an outcome few would have dreamt about! That tinge of wistfulness and sadness when we talk about the northwest mangroves has suddenly been lifted. We will not pass on a burden of grief to our youth. And everyone can feel proud of this effort of national stewardship which ultimately ensured the conservation of these mangroves and mudflats.

Now conservation requires much more than boundaries, and everyone in various communities still have their work cut out for them. But how wonderful it will all feel now, to work in celebration, without a dark cloud hanging over all of us!

Several old guard have passed on before this news, and they were activists and contributors from our local and international community. I remember them all with gratitude, fondness and love ❤️.

For now, let’s take a deep breath and revel in this news.

Glenn & Neil celebrate on Money FM with interview with Ho Hua Chew (NSS) and Adrian Loo (NParks) with “Sungei Buloh is Growing! ”
MoneyFMinterview

Using your iMac camera? A 3rd party 1080p webcam shines a light on your conferencing

I brought my iMac (late 2015) back from work when my MacBok Pro was sent to the shop. Immediately it was clear the iMac camera quality was inferior. Apparently Mac users have been frothing at the mouth for years and that escalated when we all went online and WFH for COVID-19 – especially if your workspace at home is not well lit.

So much so the improved camera on the 2020 iMac is cause for celebration!

If I had to shop for a camera, the options online would have defeated me. Thankfully the department just issued staff with a GSou 1080p T16s webcam which they purchased from the co-op. A quick look online has it on sale for $34. And there are cheaper 1080p cameras for less than $20, if you would care to experiment.

So I added the GSou webcam clumsily on top of the iMac this morning and here is the difference:

iMac (late 2015) 720p (UVC Camera VendorID_1452 ProductID_34065)
GSou 1080p T16s webcam

Although it will break the sleek online of your iMac, add a 3rd party 1080p webcam to improve your appearance during meetings – it will help everyone on your conference too.

Unless you are Deep Throat, and need to embrace the dark.