Best of our wild blogs: 10 Aug 13

‘Uniquely Singapore’ facts about our monkeys this National Day
from thelongtails

41 volunteers clear 3/4 ton of trash at Lim Chu Kang mangrove
from Otterman speaks

Driftnet traps sharks, horseshoe crabs, stingrays on Pulau Semakau (9 Aug 2013) from Project Driftnet Singapore

Snakey and Galloping National Day at Semakau
from Peiyan.Photography and wild shores of singapore and wonderful creation

New surprises at Cyrene Reef with Large seastar and Cone snail from Peiyan.Photography

Shield bugs, and Monkey and Wild Boar business at Chek Jawa
from Peiyan.Photography

Under rock and rubble
from The annotated budak

Morning Walk At Upper Seletar Reservoir (09 Aug 2013)
from Beetles@SG BLOG

Flight of Fancy @ GB
from Butterflies of Singapore

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Dead fish after huge oil spill in Philippines

Cecil Morella AFP Yahoo News 9 Aug 13;

A huge oil spill shut down parts of the Philippine capital's vital fishing industry Friday, jeopardising the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people living along Manila Bay's diesel-coated coast.

Dead fish floated on the water and some residents fell ill from the fumes, as authorities said an estimated 500,000 litres of oil cast a slick across 20-kilometres of the coastline.

"Many of our young and elderly residents are getting sick," Marcos Solis, the captain of a fishing village near the worst of the oil spill, told AFP.

"The price of fish and shellfish has also collapsed. Even those who fish far out to sea are affected because the fish smell the oil and swim away."

Authorities said the slick was caused by either a leak at an oil terminal on the bay or a ship that had unloaded diesel there.

Coastguard marine environmental protection chief Commodore Joel Garcia told reporters the slick stretched seaward about 15 kilometres from the shore, covering an area of 300 square kilometres (120 square miles).

"I cannot say that we have contained it because it has affected so wide an area," Garcia told reporters.

The area described by the coastguard covers about 15 percent of the bay, the country's busiest body of water in a region where about 30 million people live, according to government data.

Locals said they feared for the immediate future of the bay's vibrant fish and shellfish industry, which feeds millions of people in the capital and surrounding areas.

"Fish and shellfish are floating up dead. It could be months before the shellfish industry is revived unless the water is cleaned up soon," Jose Ricafrente, mayor of Rosario fishing town, told AFP.

He said 40,000 people dependent on the fishing and shellfish industry in the bay were temporarily without jobs.

Asis Perez, head of the government's fisheries and aquatic resources bureau, also told AFP the oil spill was impacting a vital section of the region's fishing industry.

"Each boat here would typically haul in 30-40 kilogrammes of fish a day, so definitely the impact is huge," Perez told AFP by telephone as he toured the affected areas by boat.

Ricafrente said he had implemented an emergency "food-for-work" programme, in which fishermen and their families would help in the clean-up in exchange for rice and canned goods with the local government.

The residents were collecting diesel from the water using bottles and other improvised scooping implements.

"Even the children are helping out. We have asked them to wear face masks," he said.

Ricafrente said at least two Rosario residents were taken to hospital and were put on oxygen tubes on Thursday, but both had recovered.

Garcia, the coastguard official, said authorities initially suspected the leak had come from the tanker that had unloaded fuel at the depot.

The 34,000-barrel-capacity M/T Makisig and its crew have been detained, he added.

However, Garcia said coastguard divers later found a leaking underwater fuel pipe that leads to the jetty of the Rosario oil terminal, owned by Philippine refiner Petron Corp.

In a statement issued on its account on the social networking site Facebook, Petron insisted its pipeline was intact.

"According to initial information, the leak may have come from the vessel but this will have to be investigated further," it said.

Garcia said the oil slick would likely remain for the next few days, or up to a week, depending on sea currents and the weather. He said the oil was expected to evaporate as it was exposed to sunlight.

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Malaysia: '3M Buaya' plan to conserve crocodiles

New Straits Times 10 Aug 13;

KUCHING: Crocodile attacks are nothing new in Sarawak, with its vast networks of rivers and swamps across the state.

But when they strike, the local population will launch an all-out hunt for the reptile. And most of the time, they are eager to find out what lies inside the beasts.

In a crocodile attack in Suai last month, a 34-year-old villager from Rumah Ngumbang, Julai Melina, is still missing after fishing in Sungai Pabong Besar.

The swampy river in Suai is known for its crocodile presence and in a recent survey, Sarawak Forestry Corporation recorded five sightings near the longhouse.

SFC managing director Datuk Ali Yusop said it was important for people living near rivers, where crocodiles were sighted, to understand the reptile.

"Crocodiles are wild and their behaviour is unpredictable," he told the New Straits Times.

With the rising attacks and the hunt-and-kill approach adopted by villagers after each attack, SFC has embarked on the "3M Buaya" programme aimed at educating and promoting a better understanding of the reptile, which is highly protected in the state.

The 3M stands for Mengenali (identify), Memahami (understand) and Memulihara (preserve), which aims to educate the people to live with the reptile.

Most crocodile attacks in the state are carried out by a saltwater species, known as crocodylus porosus. This species is historically known to be widespread throughout Southeast Asia but is believed to be extinct in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia now.

"This is one of the reasons we want to preserve this species here."

Crocodiles have excellent homing instinct and have been known to return to the same spot even after moving long distances, making translocation an impractical option.

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Myanmar's mangrove forests will be wiped out by 2015 - Experts

elevenmyanmar 9 Aug 13;

Myanmar's mangrove forests will be completely wiped out by 2015 if there are no efforts to conserve them, according to experts at a local forum on mangrove conservation held in the capital Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday.

The forests are located mostly in the Ayeyarwady delta region, coastal parts of Tanintharyi and Rakhine regions in Myanmar.

"Our ministry has plans to create necessary policies, law, official organisations for the preservation of natural resources including mangrove forests. The areas of mangrove forests have dropped as the country's social economy changed fundamentally," said Win Tun, the Minister for Environment, Conservation and Forestry.

The minister pointed out some of the reasons for the loss of mangrove forests, saying the country has no national policy concerning land usage in those areas. He also added that relevant policies are required for long-term survival of the mangroves.

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