Best of our wild blogs: 5 May 14

14-15 May: Nature guiding workshop on forests, seashores and more! from wild shores of singapore

Living reefs of Big Sister's Island
from wonderful creation

Peregrine Falcon eating @ Pulau Ubin - April 2014
from sgbeachbum

Olive-backed Sunbirds nesting in my garden (Update+Video!)
from My Nature Experiences

Estuarine Crocodile @ Kranji
from Monday Morgue

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Dialogue participants want Singapore to focus on reducing waste

Amanda Lee Today Online 5 May 14;

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans need to look beyond the focus on recycling and consider the other “Rs” such as “reduce” and “reuse”, so less waste is generated in the first place.

This was among the opinions that surfaced at a dialogue yesterday to gather views from the public, which environmental enthusiasts hope to compile and submit to the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

The ministry is reviewing the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, which was launched in 2009 and sets out strategies and initiatives for Singapore to develop sustainably as a society.

Speaking at the dialogue, Mr Teoh Soon Kay, a manager at the National Environment Agency’s Waste and Resource Management Department, said that, with Singapore’s growing population and scarce land, a new offshore landfill is required every 30 to 35 years.

“Waste treatment is not just about burning it and putting it on the ground. We have to look upstream to minimise and prevent waste and then to recycle waste,” he said.

Last year, 61 per cent of the Republic’s waste was recycled. Semakau Landfill — Singapore’s only landfill — is estimated to run out of space by 2035 if the current rate of waste growth continues.

While Mr Teoh pointed out that Singapore has set a recycling target of 70 per cent by 2030, participants suggested reducing 10 per cent waste per capita by 2017 and introducing the concept of the “6 Rs” — reduce, rethink, refuse, repair, recycle and reuse.

Said Mr Tan Hang Chong, assistant honorary secretary of the Nature Society (Singapore): “This would help in reducing the amount of waste you need to recycle in the first place and thus make recycling a measure of last resort.”

Agreeing, environmental consultant Eugene Tay said people need to acknowledge how much waste they are creating. “There should be a basic responsibility that you have to take care of your waste,” he added.

The lack of awareness of recycling and reducing waste was also flagged as a concern, with participants suggesting that a mascot be created to promote recycling and that education on environmental issues be made compulsory at pre-schools and primary schools by 2018.

One participant suggested having a countdown meter to point out the number of days before Semakau Landfill is filled up. Another proposed banning the use of styrofoam by next year.

It was also suggested that recycling bins be better located at public housing estates and that mandatory recycling or segregation for waste disposal should be a clause for all government contracts by 2018, where relevant.

However, most participants felt that, facilities and schemes aside, the desire to recycle and reduce waste must come from the individual.

Said 33-year-old Saitong Hwangkuntham, a fund associate: “Kids pick up habits before going to school. They need to start young and we can start by educating their parents first.”

The dialogue session yesterday, called Conversations on Sustainable Singapore, was one of three co-organised by Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore Management University club SMU verts and Green Future Solutions. The third session on Food Security (Food Supply and Food Waste) will be held on May 24.

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Malaysia: 3 clouded leopards spotted in Santubong

DENNIS WONG New Straits Times 5 May 14;

HOPEFUL DISCOVERY: Sighting could mean mountain is home to species

KUCHING: THREE Bornean clouded leopards have been recently spotted on Mount Santubong here.

The discovery sees the Malaysian Nature Society Kuching branch calling for an immediate evaluation study at the site, as it could mean that the mountain was home to Sarawak's largest cat species.

Its chairman, Anthony Sebastian, said the sighting was of great significance and should lead to more attention being given to the iconic mountain.

"The clouded leopard is Borneo's top predator and the largest cat on the island.

"Despite this, the species is the smallest compared with others in the big cat family, which include tigers and lions."

Seven years ago, the government had gazetted the 1,410ha Mount Santubong National Park, 40km from here.

Anthony said previously, no wildlife was believed to inhabit the mountain, but studies had shown that there were four hornbill species and three otter species in the park.

"The discovery of the clouded leopards on Mount Santubong is an addition to Santubong's increasingly rich wildlife."

The Bornean clouded leopard, or Neofelis diardi, can grow up to 2m in length and weigh up to 25kg.

Locally known as entulu, the species is a highly endangered cat in the state.

Its habitat is severely threatened by hunting and loss of forest areas.

In February, surveyors carrying out preliminary work for the Santubong cable car project had spotted the clouded leopards on the mountain.

Anthony said unlike hornbills, which would be affected only by disturbances brought on by infrastructure development at higher parts of the mountain, the Bornean clouded leopard would be adversely affected by the cable car project.

"Before any further plans are to be made involving Santubong, it is practical for a study to be carried out to determine the requirements needed by clouded leopards on the mountain and determine measures that need to be put in place to ensure their survival."

He said the clouded leopard's bold markings on its fur made it one of the most beautiful wild cats in the world, as well as a tourist attraction in Kuching, also known as the "City of Cats".

Read more: 3 clouded leopards spotted in Santubong - General - New Straits Times

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Malaysia: 400 to clean beach to draw turtles

The Star 5 May 14;

DUNGUN: About 400 people will be at the Ma’Daerah beach in Kerteh today to clean it up for turtle landings and nesting.

Terengganu Fisheries Depart­ment director Abdul Khalil Abdul Karim said they had allocated RM15,000 for the education and awareness programme.

He said the participants were from government departments and petroleum companies, local hotel staff and non-governmental organisations.

Abdul Khalil said the Ma’Daerah beach recorded the highest number of turtle landings every year after Cakar Hutan, Pulau Perhentian, Geliga and Pulau Redang.

Ma’Daerah registered between 200 and 250 turtle landings last year laying between 20,000 and 25,000 eggs, he said.

“The hatching success rate at Ma’Daerah beach is high, about 79% to 80% a year,” he said.

There have been more than 200 turtle landings from January to April this year, he added. — Bernama

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