Best of our wild blogs: 19 Jan 19

See you at EarthFest!
Green Drinks Singapore

Read more!

The impact of the haze on caterpillars

Straits Times 19 Jan 19;

While there are studies on the impact of haze on human well-being, its effect on other species and ecosystems is rarely explored.

A study led by Associate Professor Antonia Monteiro from the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Science has revealed that toxic chemicals in haze can affect the survival and development of butterflies, said the university.

Insects are very sensitive to changes in air quality because air reaches their inner cells directly through valve-like openings known as spiracles on the sides of their bodies. The diffusion of gases then takes place close to each cell via very fine tracheal tubes that transport the air from the spiracles to the inside of the body. In humans, the air first diffuses into the blood system in the lungs before reaching cells.

The researchers discovered that when the caterpillars of the Squinting Bush Brown Butterfly (Bicyclus anynana) were exposed to artificially generated smoke from burning incense coils, a large proportion did not survive to adulthood. Those that did survive took longer to reach adulthood, and were smaller. A smaller size usually leads to lower egg production.

Read more!

Indonesia: Bali requires foreign tourists to pay US$10 - Let's preserve nature

Ni Komang Erviani The Jakarta Post 18 Jan 19;

While battling against the plastic that has besieged its waters, Bali is preparing a bylaw that will impose a US$10 levy on foreign tourists.

The Bali administration has drafted a bylaw on tourist contributions for the environment and cultural preservation, which has been discussed with the Bali Legislative Council since December.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster said the revenue from the tourist tax would be allocated to fund programs on preserving the environment and Balinese culture.

“This will give us better fiscal space to support the development of Bali,” Koster said at the Bali Legislative Council building.

Read more!

Best of our wild blogs: 18 Jan 19

2 Feb is World Wetlands Day 2019
wild shores of singapore

Read more!

MP Louis Ng urges Government to ban shark’s fin from public service events

NICHOLAS KHONG Today Online 17 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE — Shark’s fin dishes should be banned from events organised by or for the public service, Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Ng said.

Mr Ng, who is MP for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency, submitted a parliamentary question on the issue earlier this week, asking whether shark’s fin — traditionally considered a delicacy and a staple at Chinese weddings and formal banquets — is still being served at public service events and if it will be on the menu at future events.

In a written response, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that government agencies decide on their respective menus based on what is “prudent and appropriate for the occasion”.

“We do not have policies specific to the serving of shark’s fin,” Mr Chan said, adding that public agencies abide by the procurement principles of fairness, transparency and value-for-money.

Speaking to TODAY, Mr Ng said that these principles would rule out serving shark’s fin dishes.

Read more!

Malaysia: Soldiers foil attempt to smuggle 310 magpies to Indonesia

Bernama New Straits Times 17 Jan 19;

KUCHING: Soldiers yesterday foiled an attempt to smuggle 310 magpies to Indonesia via a 'lorong tikus' (illegal route) near the Malaysia-Indonesia border in Tebedu, about 100 km from here.

Read more!

Indonesia: Fires burn 124.5 hectares of land in Riau since early January

Antara 17 Jan 19;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - Some 124.5 hectares of land and forests in Riau Province caught fires since early this year due to low rainfall, coupled with strong winds, according to the Riau Provincial Disaster Mitigation Board (BPBD).

The land and forests are located in Rokan Hilir, Bengkalis, Kampar, Dumai, and Kepulauan Meranti districts and Pekanbaru and Dumai municipalities, Edwar Sanger, acting chief of BPBD Riau, stated here on Thursday, Jan 17.

Read more!

Best of our wild blogs: 17 Jan 19

26 Jan (Sat): FREE Guided Pasir Ris Mangrove Walk
Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

Celebrate World Wetlands Day 2019 from 26 Jan - 3 Feb
celebrating singapore shores

Singapore dismisses politician's call to ban shark fin from public sector events

Open Electricity Market: Your Green Options
Green Drinks Singapore

Read more!

When both the rich and poor feel the heat from climate change

ALBERTO SALVO Today Online 16 Jan 19;

News reports of a study I authored, published in Nature Communications last month, have put the spotlight on how different segments of society may be affected by climate change.

What can we infer from the findings given that the global climate is changing and researchers and policymakers are trying to understand the impacts of rising temperatures on societies around the world?

Scientists use unseasonal weather fluctuations — say a warmer versus cooler summer — to examine how heat affects a range of socioeconomic variables that we care about, such as public health, worker productivity, industrial output, commuter behaviour, school test scores, and so on.

Specifically, consider the ways in which people protect themselves from excess heat.

Read more!

Best of our wild blogs: 16 Jan 19

Bukit Timah: The Highest Hill in Singapore
My Nature Experiences

Read more!

December 2018 was 2nd warmest year-end on record; Met Service warns of long-term warming in Singapore

VICTOR LOH Today Online 15 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE — If December felt hotter than usual, your hunch is right.

The last month of 2018 was the second warmest December since 1929, while the past decade is the warmest on record.

"These are signs of the long-term warming trend in Singapore," the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 15).

Read more!

Food importers may be required to help tackle supply disruptions

Move among steps to beef up food security; new agency to boost safety for consumers
Tiffany Fumiko Tay Straits Times 16 Jan 19;

Importers of key food items may be required to come up with preventive strategies and other plans to mitigate the impact of supply disruptions to Singapore, which imports more than 90 per cent of its food and is vulnerable to factors affecting global supply, such as disease outbreaks and climate change.

This and other measures to beef up Singapore's food security were included in two Bills tabled in Parliament yesterday to dissolve the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and split its functions between the National Parks Board (NParks) and a new statutory board to oversee food safety and security.

The AVA will cease in April and its plant-and animal-related functions, including animal welfare, will be transferred to NParks.

Read more!