Best of our wild blogs: 21 Nov 14

Reticulated or Singapore Swamp Crab
from Bird Ecology Study Group

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Sentosa makeover in the works

Janice Lim Channel NewsAsia 20 Nov 14;

SINGAPORE: Major redevelopment plans for Sentosa are in the pipeline over the next five years, announced the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) on Thursday (Nov 20).

A consultancy exercise to study a possible revamp for its six precincts will be conducted, SDC said. The exercise will be carried out in three phases and will aim to provide insights into enhancing the built environment and making more efficient use of land.

SDC said it has put up for tender the first phase of the consultancy exercise, which will look at the area between Resorts World Sentosa and the Beach Station.

Spanning nine hectares, it is the central artery of the island and takes visitors past various attractions on the way to the beaches. The Beach Station is also an important transit point, with around 30 to 40 per cent of the total number of visitors to Sentosa passing through it.

SDC hopes that the changes along this route will enhance visitors' walking experience and increase footfalls. The beach-front precincts and Imbiah Lookout will be examined during Phase 2 and Phase 3 respectively.


However, according to experts, the redevelopment plans are likely to face some challenges. Temasek Polytechnic Hospitality and Tourism Management Senior Lecturer Koh Chiew Li said crowd management could be an issue.

“Like it or not, Sentosa island has a capacity limit in terms of its land size. So it would not be possible for them to keep accommodating increasing number of visitors,” she explained.

Besides land size limitations, experts have also point to the difficulties of satisfying the needs of a diverse group of visitors.

As the number of local and foreign visitors is relatively equal, SDC has to balance the needs of both groups. Other groups it needs to consider are the elderly or visually handicapped, as they would face some level of difficulty getting around the island.

- CNA/xk

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Thailand: Another dead dolphin washed up

Nucharee Rakrun Bangkok Post 20 Nov 14;

A dead dolphin has washed up on a beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Sichon district, and local residents are blaming a 10-kilometre oil slick that is floating along the shore.

Soldiers and local residents inspect the carcass of the dolphin found on a beach in Sichon district on Thursday. (Photo by Nucharee Rakrun)

Officials from the Southern Marine and Coastal Resources Centre in Songkhla, accompanied by soldiers, on Thursday examined the carcass of the dolphin on the beach in tambon Sichon of Sichon district.

The 3-metre-long dolphin, weighing over 200 kg, had head injuries. The cause of death was not clear.

Local resident Bamrungkiart Longji, 55, said he spotted the dead dolphin during his morning exercise on the beach. He said many people believed the dolphin might have been poisoned by ingesting oil from a slick floating off the beach.

In recent months at least 10 dolphins had been found dead on beaches in the southern province.

Pithak Boripit, chief of Sichon district, said the dead dolphin might have mistaken the oil slick for floating seaweed.

He said people were worried the 10-kilometre long oil slick, reported to comprise oil globules ranging in size from a ping-pong ball to a pomelo, was killing dolphins and other marine life.

Residents along the seashore in Khanom, Sichon, Tha Sala, Pak Phanang and Hua Sai districts say they see dolphins swimming in the sea almost every day. This is a drawcard for tourists, but the oil slick is chasing the tourists away.

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