Mr Bats is preparing for long nights

I have been trying to get ready for the new term but it looks like there is no substititue to late nights. Mr Bats is the most consistent and uninspiring partner for my overnighters to prepare for lectures – he snoozes comfortably while I work. And after I moved my stuff around this weekend, he’s settled in and ready for action once again!

Love Our MacRitchie Forest

This is the car decal from Teresa, Vilma & friends which we circulated during Festival of Biodiversity. We join them to urge fellow-Singaporeans and earthlings alike to Love Our MacRitchie Forest, this precious primeval heritage of our island.

You can read and sign an ongoing petition which may reflect your views at

XWT-SS Love MacRitchie

We applaud the release of this position paper by Nature Society (Singapore) today, 18th July 2013:

NSS Cross Island Line


In January 2013, the Ministry of Transport announced plans for an MRT line called the Cross Island Line (CRL) that will be completed around 2030. Running about 50 km from Changi to the Jurong Industrial Estate, the Cross Island Line will be Singapore’s longest train line.

As unveiled, the CRL passes through the southern section of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR), near MacRitchie Reservoir, as it goes from Sin Ming to Bukit Timah.

The Nature Society (Singapore) (NSS) believes that engineering investigation and construction works for the Cross Island Line will severely degrade ancient, species-rich and highly complex ecosystems.

The Nature Society recommends that the design alignment be adjusted to avoid crossing the Reserve.

Of particular concern is the fate of primary forest remnants that the Cross Island Line will traverse if built as presented. Less than 0.2% remains of the lowland rainforest that originally covered most of Singapore. The remnants are too scarce and take too long to regenerate to risk damaging them.
In addition, the stream systems through which the Cross Island Line passes are especially vulnerable. Though these habitats are currently protected as part of a Nature Reserve, they are nonetheless now threatened unless the Cross Island Line is rerouted.

The Nature Society (Singapore)’s Discussion and Position Paper on the Cross Island Line is available from today for downloading from the Society’s website (

Questions on the NSS Discussion and Position Paper can be directed to or 6741-2036.

The NSS spokesperson for its position on the proposed Cross Island Line is Mr Tony O’Dempsey.

Download the full position paper from the NSS webpage.

Marcus talking about leopard cats today – but not to kids

Marcus isn’t talking to kids today, but his examiners and fellow biologists. It’s a pre-thesis submission seminar required of him by the department. It’s a small room, so we’ve not publicised this but he will repeat this as a seminar and a public talk in a more spacious setting.

008-festival-of-biodiversity-2013-vivocity-14-july-day2[Joelle Lai]
Photo by Joelle Lai

For the record:

Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore Pre-Thesis Seminar: “Ecology and Conservation of the Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792) (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) in Singapore”

By Chua Aik Hwee Marcus, Graduate Student
Thursday 18 July 2013: 10.00am
Supervisors: Prof Ng Kee Lin, Peter & N. Sivasothi

Back to work, civetgirls!

After a euphoric two days at the Festival of Biodiversity last weekend, civet girls and volunteer Toddycats managers Xu Weiting and Fung Tze Kwan are back in the thick of work, reviewing camera trap data, teaching students in the special semester, planning for teaching in the next semester and putting research logistics together.

Civet on Pulau Ubin, camera trap from July 2013

Photos by Marcus Ng form the Festival of Biodiversity
203-festival of biodiversity-2013-vivocity-14-july-day2[Marcus Ng]

055-festival-of-biodiversity-2013-vivocity-13-july-day1[Marcus Ng]

340-festival of biodiversity-2013-vivocity-14-july-day2[Marcus Ng]

Blogging the Festival of Biodiversity 2013 – strategic writing by Ria Tan

Ria Tan blogs at Wild Shores of Singapore about marine life, her field trips, events she is involved in and people she meets along the way. She generates professional stories, is factual, detailed, comprehensive and keeps the posts short enough for a regular audience.

wild shores of singapore: Highlights of the Festival of Biodiversity 2013

Leading up to the Festival of Biodiversity, she blogged several times – it takes more than one mention to get the news about the event through everyone’s saturated inbox or Facebook news feed! And each post was tweeted and face booked.

These are not duplicate messages – Ria highlights different aspects of Festival preparations, the people and the event itself. It is amazing how she manages to capture significant moments – Ria caught me plotting our next move with Toddycats managers, amidst a busy lab whilst overseeing the soft toy production line! During the hustle and bustle at the event grounds in Vivocity, she caught a sweet moment as Sean Yap met a younger version of himself!

wild shores of singapore: Sneak peek at the Festival of Biodiversity!

wild shores of singapore: Highlights of the Festival of Biodiversity 2013

It’s not just about advertising the festival – the venue takes care of attendance. The posts have us prioritising the event, excites everyone involved and let the others in the natural history community share a post on Facebook or twitter, all of which had relevant festival details. A small number were stimulated to blog or write new posts. Friends in the edge of our core network realised something special was afoot and turned up at the festival!

Blogs posts are invaluable – they are searchable and allow us to examine previous activities for information or motivation! Ria never forgets it is a time for people to mer the natural history community. Some enthusiastic people have found us by searching the web and to them, the blog posts were a lifeline.

Next year, these posts will prepare new volunteers for the exciting and meaningful time ahead of them!

Click the images to read the posts:

wild shores of singapore: Sneak peek at the Festival of Biodiversity!

wild shores of singapore: More mascots for the Festival of Biodiversity!

wild shores of singapore: Meet the marine volunteers of Singapore!

wild shores of singapore: Latest happenings at the Festival of Biodiversity 13-14 Jul (Sat and Sun) VivoCity

wild shores of singapore: Highlights of the Festival of Biodiversity 2013