Best of our wild blogs: 9 Mar 14

Night Walk At Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West (07 Mar 2014)
from Beetles@SG BLOG

Mangrove Pitta swallows a gecko
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Pasir Ris mangroves with Terra Mind kids
from wild shores of singapore

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Slightly hazy conditions continue in Singapore

Saifulbahri Ismail Channel NewsAsia 8 Mar 14;

SINGAPORE: Slightly hazy conditions continued on Saturday, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reaching the moderate range.

The 3-hour PSI reading was at 58 as of 9pm.

The reading was in the “good” range in the morning but inched up steadily after 12 pm.

On Friday, the PSI peaked at 71, which is in the moderate range.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said the haze may be attributed to hotspots to the north of Singapore, blown in by the prevailing northeasterly winds.

A total of four hotspots were detected in Peninsular Malaysia on Friday, and 35 in Sumatra.

- CNA/xq

Haze could return this month
The New Paper AsiaOne 9 Mar 14;

Singapore may be affected by haze in the second half of the month, if hot spots in Sumatra persist and prevailing winds in the region temporarily turn westerly, the national Environment Agency (NEA) said.

Prolonged dry weather affecting parts of the region in the last two months has resulted in an escalation of hot spot activities in central and northern Sumatra since early last month, said the agency in a statement on its website.

On Wednesday, 47 hot spots were detected in peninsular Malaysia and six in Sumatra. But the low hot spot count for Sumatra was due to cloud cover and partial satellite coverage, said the agency.

Although increased rainfall can be expected later in the month, total rainfall is forecast to be below average in most parts of the region.

NEA said it will continue to monitor the situation.

‘Some risk’ of haze returning if winds change
David Ee The Straits Times AsiaOne 9 Mar 14;

There is "some risk" of the haze returning in the second half of this month, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has warned.

That is when north-east monsoon winds - which have so far kept the dense haze in Sumatra at arm's length from Singapore - may begin to weaken, the agency explained in an advisory on Thursday.

The coming inter-monsoon period, which typically lasts from late March to May, brings light winds from different directions.

The haze may return if westerly winds begin to blow from Sumatra towards Singapore.

The NEA noted that the prolonged dry weather in this region has caused the number of hot spots in Sumatra, Indonesia, to rise since early last month. This has already caused smoke plumes and dense haze in Riau province in central Sumatra.

On Monday, Nasa satellites detected 337 hot spots of forest and plantation fires in Riau, which lies directly across the Strait of Malacca from Singapore. Its capital Pekanbaru is 280km from the Republic.

An unusual dry spell in Riau since late December has seen farmers take the opportunity to clear land by starting fires, which are causing the haze. The dry season there is from April to June.

The NEA said it would continue to monitor the situation.

Last June, Singapore suffered its worst haze, with pollutant levels reaching a record high. The country is also experiencing one of its longest-ever periods of dry weather, with little rain since mid-January. On Tuesday, the NEA said last month was Singapore's driest since 1869.

To conserve water, property heavyweight CapitaLand said that external water features will be shut off at the majority of its properties here, and non-essential cleaning such as that for facades and carparks postponed.

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'Heartbreaking sight': Severely injured stray dog may have been caught in wild boar trap

Jennifer Dhanaraj and Anne Hwarng The New Paper AsiaOne 9 Mar 14;

She had the same routine every Saturday.

Ms Irene Sng, 35, a tutor, would, with a group of friends, head to a forested area in western Singapore to feed and take care of stray dogs.

One of these dogs included Duncan, a mongrel they had grown to love over the past few months.

Last Saturday, Ms Sng was devastated when she saw that Duncan had been severely injured.

She said: "My heart broke when I saw that Duncan was hiding in a corner, looking so weary. His skin had been torn off and his legs looked broken."

Ms Sng suspects that the dog could have been caught in a wild boar trap and managed to free itself.

She said she did not see the trap, but added: "Nothing else would shatter bones quite like a trap."

Ms Sng and her friends wanted to take Duncan to a veterinarian for treatment, but it would not respond to their calls to come out from its hiding place.

"It was hiding in a corner and we couldn't get to it physically," she said.

So they went back on Monday and the dog was more willing to accept help this time. They put him in a carrier and took him to the vet.

"I did not realise how bad his injuries were. I was extremely shocked when the vet told us to prepare for the worst," said Mrs Sng.

The doctor then told the group that the bones on Duncan's right front and hind legs had been shattered.

It had also developed septicemia, a severe bacteria infection, and could not breathe on its own.

Its condition improved by the next morning, but the vet had no choice but to amputate both the injured legs to prevent the infection from getting worse.

Mrs Sng said: "The dog is still at the clinic and is definitely doing better. But we are looking for someone to take it home and care for it.

"I just kept thinking about how these traps are so cruel to animals. Even if they are meant for wild boars, it's too much."

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