Sundown Charity Ambassador Neil Humphreys is running for Children’s Cancer Charity; go Neil!

Let’s encourage the man! Just hop over to GiveAsia and drop in a pretty penny!

He says,

“Hello all you wonderful people, I am proud and humbled to be a Sundown Charity Ambassador.

My wife’s best friend died of cancer. As a tribute to her, I took part in the In Her Shoes Charity Concert, meeting many brave sufferers who refused to be victims. Their bravery was both humbling and inspiring.

That’s why I’m running for the Children’s Cancer Foundation at the Sundown Marathon. Do join me or throw a couple of bucks while I stagger around the course. Neil.”

GIVEAsia | Unfit author running for Children's Cancer Foundation

Enjoy the run Neil!

Mangrove horseshoe crab rescue with my students Germaine Leng and Joys Tan

17 May 2013 – after encountering entangled mangrove horseshoe crab during a cycling trip, I came back with proper tools and my students to help release living crabs from a 100m gill net. We cut it into sections and binned it. I called NEA and they came to dispose of it later.

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Otter woman of Palawan

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,

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!

Annette, a pregnant long-tailed macaque at Bukit Timah, catches 40 winks

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.

Twitter / thelongtails: being preggers must be tiring. ...
“being preggers must be tiring. Annette takes a quick snooze (:” (Amanda Tan)

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.

Is Lyssa zampa back? Send me your records!

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: and we’ll figure out what’s the emergence pattern like this year.

For old stories of Lyssa zampa, see Habitatnews
and this blog.

Happy hunting!