Best of our wild blogs: 22 Jul 14

Sat 26 Jul and Mon 28 Jul ’14 : Guided Walks
from a.t.Bukit Brown. Heritage. Habitat. History.

Slugs, Snails, And The Things They Eat
from Hantu Blog

Pellet casting by a Blue-throated Bee-eater
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Seen@: Weaver Ants!
from The Green Beans

Insights on Food Waste in Singapore
from Green Future Solutions

Were you at the Festival of Biodiversity? Relive it with us!
from News from Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

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Dead dolphin washes up in East Coast Park

New Paper AsiaOne 22 Jul 14;

Mr Rajeshpal Singh Khalsa was with his family at East Coast Park yesterday morning when they saw what was initially thought to be a large boulder on the beach.

But when they got closer, he saw that the "boulder" had a fin.

It turned out to be a 1.8m-long dead dolphin.

Mr Singh, 30, who said there was no stench, called the National Parks Board (NParks).

The New Paper on Sunday understands that the carcass has since been retrieved and will be handed over to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, which is part of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Mr N. Sivasothi, a biological sciences lecturer at NUS, says that the museum had previously dealt with washed up dolphin carcasses in 2005 and 2008.

In both incidents, the mammals had been washed up on Labrador beach in the west.

There had been another case of a washed up dolphin carcass on the ECP just earlier this week, he said. But in that instance, the flesh was mostly gone from the carcass.

"We will make arrangements to recover it for the museum, take tissue samples, preserve the bones for research and education purposes," he said.

He added: "Preserving the skeleton allows visitors to the museum and at our annual Festival of Biodiversity realise we have a regional marine heritage worth protecting."

He said the most commonly sighted dolphin species in our waters is the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin, also known as the pink dolphin.

In our northern waters, sightings of the sea cow, or dugong, are more common. These are likely to be part of the population whose habitat is in Sungei Johor, Mr Sivasothi said.

He added that their carcasses have also washed up on our shores in areas including Changi beach, ECP and even Pulau Tekong. The last case, which was in Pulau Tekong, happened in 2006.

Members of the public who see such carcasses can call the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) Wildlife Rescue Hotline on 9783-7782.

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Malaysia: Low visibility over waters off northern straits of Malacca until Thursday

New Straits Times 21 Jul 14;

KUALA LUMPUR: The low horizontal visibility below five kilometres over the waters of northern Straits of Malacca due to hazy condition is expected to persist until Thursday.

The Meteorological Department, in a statement today said this condition was dangerous to ships that were not equipped with navigational equipment.

In connection to Typhoon Matmo detected approximately 1,472 km of Northeast of Sandakan, Sabah, and moving Northward with the speed of 15kmph, the strong Southwesterly winds of up to 40-50 kmph with waves up to 3.5 metres occurring over the waters of Palawan, Reef North, Condore and Layang-Layang were expected to continue until Thursday.

The strong Southwesterly winds of 40-50 kmph with waves up to 3.5 metres occurring over the waters off Phuket (Thailand), Perlis, Kedah and Sabah (Kudat) were also expected to continue until Thursday.

This condition of strong winds and rough seas was dangerous to small crafts, recreational sea activities and sea sports. -- BERNAMA

Air quality unhealthy in eight places
New Straits Times 21 Jul 14;

KUALA LUMPUR: Air quality dropped to the unhealthy level in eight places in the country this afternoon, according to the Department of Environment (DoE).

It identified these places as Bakar Arang, Sungai Petani, in Kedah (where the Air Pollutant Index was 111); Kampung Air Putih, Taiping (139); Seri Manjung (113) and Tanjung Malim (109) in Perak; Seberang Jaya Dua, Perai (110), in Penang; and Kuala Selangor (146), Port Klang (148) and Shah Alam (101) in Selangor.

Twenty-nine places had air quality at the moderate level.

An API reading of between zero and 50 indicates good air quality; between 51 and 100, moderate; between 101 and 200, unhealthy; between 201 and 300, very unhealthy and over 301, hazardous.

Members of the public can refer to the DOE portal at to find out the API reading for their areas. - BERNAMA

Hotspots in Malaysia up 25% in 24 hours
The Star 21 Jul 14;

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of hotspots detected via images by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-18 satellite rose to 50 Sunday from 40 on Saturday.

Of the total, Johor and Negeri Sembilan had one hotspot each, Kelantan (4), Pahang (13), Perak (5) Sabah (2), Sarawak (12), Terengganu (3) and Selangor (9).

"The hotspots detected will be investigated and appropriate action taken," the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said in a statement Monday.

The Department of Environment (DOE) said 4,385 open burning cases were recorded involving forests, agricultural areas, industry, construction, landfills and bushland.

Meanwhile, 225 hotspots were detected in Sumatera, Indonesia Sunday compared to 139 hotspots on Saturday. - Bernama

Dry and hazy Hari Raya ahead
YUEN MEIKENG The Star 22 Jul 14;

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians may have to brace for a dry and hazy Hari Raya as less rain is expected in the coming days.

Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) spokesman Dr Hisham Mohd Anip said this was due to the emergence of three continuous typhoons in the region – Neoguri, Rammasun and the current Typhoon Matmo.

“The typhoons drag moisture from the air in the surrounding areas, leading to the dry spell,” he said yesterday.

Typhoon Matmo is reportedly on course to strike Taiwan just after Typhoon Rammasun hit China and the Philippines, leaving over 112 people dead.

Dr Hisham said the typhoon was not a threat to Malaysia but it may cause high waves over the sea.

“The current hot weather is also compounded by the haze from Sumatra in Indonesia,” he said.

A check on the Meteorological Service Singapore website revealed that the number of hotspots in Sumatra had increased steadily since July 16.

As of yesterday, over 200 hotspots were found on the island.

The number of hotspots detected via images by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) -18 satellite rose to 50 yesterday from 40 on Saturday.

Dr Hisham said there was also a chance of another typhoon in the region and if it formed, Malaysia might have to expect an even longer period of dry weather.

“The period could stretch on for another two weeks,” he said.

The air quality around the nation also took a dip as five areas recorded unhealthy readings as of 11am yesterday.

The areas – Port Klang, Kuala Selangor, Seberang Jaya 2 in Perai, Seri Manjung in Perak and Kg Air Putih in Taiping – all recorded unhealthy levels of between 100 and 200.

Of the five areas, Port Klang had the highest air pollutant index of 139 at 9am, based on readings on the Department of Environment’s website.

Thirteen out of 52 areas recorded good air quality, while the remainder recorded moderate levels.

The readings in several areas veered close to the borderline of the unhealthy level, including Petaling Jaya (89), Shah Alam (98), Bakar Arang in Sungai Petani (91) and Tanjung Malim (90).

On horizontal visibility, the MMD said some cities and towns still had visibility of over 10km.

However, some areas encountered hazy skies like Butterworth (3km), Petaling Jaya (2.5km), Subang (3.5km) and Bayan Lepas (4km).

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