Best of our wild blogs: 19 Nov 18

Let's help NParks stop grasscutters from littering plastic strings
wild shores of singapore

24 Nov (Sat): 'Chasing Coral' - FREE screening at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

A Hike From Mandai Track 15 to Bukit Panjang
Beauty of Fauna and Flora

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Vietnam: 12 dead in floods, landslides

AFP Yahoo News 18 Nov 18;

Hanoi (AFP) - Flash floods and landslides killed at least 12 people in central Vietnam, officials said Sunday, as hundreds of troops were dispatched to clean up destroyed villages and washed out roads.

Heavy rains pounded the central Khanh Hoa province over the past few days as tropical depression Toraji blew in from the South China Sea, triggering landslides that wiped out houses and destroyed a small reservoir.

At least a dozen people have been killed so far while a search was ongoing for several others, an official from the provincial disaster office told AFP, refusing to be named.

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Best of our wild blogs: 18 Nov 18

[Event] Diving into citizen science: Marine chit-chats, 21 November 2018
Psychedelic Nature

Singapore Raptor Report – October 2018
Singapore Bird Group

Night Walk At Windsor Nature Park
Beetles@SG BLOG

Butterfly of the Month - November 2018
Butterflies of Singapore

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Indonesia: Efforts underway to save sumatran tigers from extinction

Otniel Tamindael Antara 17 Nov 18;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of Riau Province on Sumatra Island continues to make every effort to save Sumatran tigers (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae), which are at a high risk of becoming extinct.

Although Sumatran tigers are losing their habitat and prey fast, and poaching shows no sign of decline, the Riau Natural Conservation Agency continues to take steps to protect this endangered animal.

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Indonesia: Preserving Indonesia`s sea turtles

Rahmad Nasution Antara 17 Nov 18;

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is an archipelagic nation that is blessed by the Almighty God with an array of flora and fauna, several of which are categorized as "iconic species."

According to the Ocean Health Index, a valuable tool for assessing ocean health, iconic species are "animals or plants which are important to cultural identity as shown by their involvement in traditional activities."

Indonesia is home to several iconic species, one of them being the sea turtle. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia has also reported that six of the seven living species of sea turtles that scientists recognize can be found in the country.

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Indonesia: Sumatran elephant found dead with missing tusks

AFP 17 Nov 18;

Rampant deforestation has reduced the species' natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans
A Sumatran elephant has been found dead with its tusks removed in an apparent poaching case targeting the critically endangered animal, an Indonesian conservation official said Friday.

The 10-year-old male's rotting corpse was found in Blang Awe village in Aceh province earlier this week.

"His tusks were missing and there were traces of blood in the location where he was found," Aceh conservation centre head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.

Officials estimated the animal had been dead for at least a week when the carcass was discovered.

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Indonesia: Cleaning up Indonesia`s land and sea

Rahmad Nasution Antara 17 Nov 18;

Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - Plastic waste has, since decades, undoubtedly become a major problem in Indonesia amid the government`s serious endeavor to deal with the menace by highlighting its detrimental impacts on the country`s environmental sustainability.

Plastic waste, which has a serious impact on the quality of soil and water and may threaten the existence of living creatures, is closely related to the amount of the trash produced and used by Indonesians every day.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has noted that some 9.8 billion plastic bags are used in Indonesia every year, and almost 95 percent of it will end up as waste.

The ministry`s waste management directorate also estimated that the total number plastic straws, used by Indonesians every day, reaches some 93 million, increasing from nine percent in 1995 to 16 percent this year.

In addressing this problem, the Indonesian Government is formulating a national action plan, which has five main pillars: behavior change; suppress land-based pollution; suppress sea-based pollution; suppress plastic production and use; and improve financing mechanisms, policy reform, and law enforcement.

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Best of our wild blogs: 17 Nov 18

Can I sell my giant clam ‘pearls’ or shells?
Mei Lin NEO

Google searches reveal public interest in conservation is rising

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What politics and drugs have to do with the hike in rice prices

As with some crops, the weather is one of the reasons Thai jasmine rice costs more – but the situation is more complex that just that. The series For Food’s Sake looks at the issues and some solutions.
Derrick A Paulo and Gosia Klimowicz Channel NewsAsia 17 Nov 18;

THAILAND and SINGAPORE: Because of its taste and texture, it is the key ingredient in the old favourite among Singaporeans, chicken rice. Hom Mali – or fragrant Thai jasmine rice – is also preferred by local Chinese restaurants.

It is one of Thailand’s premium exports, and the World Rice Conference has named it the world’s best rice five times since 2009. But that quality, for the most important staple in Asia, has come at an increasingly higher price.

For hawker Wong Teck Tham, the cost of the rice had increased by more than 10 per cent over the past five years, to about S$100 for every 50 kilogrammes.

He was shocked, however, when it then increased to S$108 around the middle of this year. “I’ve never used rice that’s so expensive,” he said.

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China's ban on trash imports shifts waste crisis to Southeast Asia

As plastic scrap piles up, Malaysia and others fight back.
LAURA PARKER National Geographic 16 Nov 18;

When President Donald Trump signed legislation renewing the federal marine debris program, he blamed Asia for fouling the world’s oceans. He named Japan, China, and “many, many countries” for dumping plastic waste that floats over to the West Coast.

“And we’re charged with removing it, which is a very unfair situation,” he said.

What Trump didn’t acknowledge is that plastic waste polluting the seas cannot be assigned entirely to Asia alone. East and West are inextricably connected by their plastic trash, as wealthy nations sell their recycled plastic scrap to Asia for the simple fact it’s easier to ship it around the world than process it at home.

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Worries over CO2 emissions from intensifying wildfires

Navin Singh Khadka BBC World Service 15 Nov 18;

Rising numbers of extreme wildfires could result in a significant increase in CO₂ emissions, scientists warn.

That could mean attaining the Paris climate agreement's goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2C could become harder, they say.

Present emission-cut pledges by countries are projected to increase the average global temperature rise by more than 3C by the end of the century.

That would lead to dangerous climate change impacts, experts say.

These include sea level rise, drought, wildfires, among other extreme events.

"We can't neglect the emissions from wildfires," says Ramon Vallejo, a scientist specialising on fire ecology with the University of Barcelona.

"Particularly now that we are seeing intense wildfires all around the world."

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Caribbean swamped by seaweed that smells like rotten eggs

From Belize to Barbados, tourist beaches have been swamped by huge tides of foul-smelling sargassum – and climate change could make the problem worse
Will Worley The Guardian 16 nov 18;

“It was like something out of a science fiction movie,” says Barbara Hall from the office of the beachside hotel she runs in Placencia, southern Belize.

“I woke up at 6am, looked out my window and realised we had a big problem. It was absolutely overwhelming.”

The sight that greeted her that morning was a gargantuan tide of sargassum – a type of ocean seaweed that had swept in overnight. At sea, sargassum is an essential habitat for some marine life, but when it reaches land it rots, sucking up oxygen from the water and emitting hydrogen sulphide gas, which smells like rotten eggs.

It has washed up in the Caribbean in unusually large amounts since 2011, but this year the largest volumes ever have appeared on shores from Barbados to Mexico, with piles several feet deep stretching for miles, and dozens of metres out to sea.

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