Best of our wild blogs: 5 Jul 16

16 Jul (Sat) - Free guided walk at Chek Jawa Boardwalk
Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

Mass coral bleaching at Chek Jawa
wild shores of singapore

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Visitors turn wild boar feeding area into food dump

ONG YAN QUAN The New Paper 5 Jul 16;

The wild boars at Lorong Halus are still drawing the crowds. And with the crowds come a whole lot more rubbish as well.

When The New Paper (TNP) visited the forested site at about 4pm last Thursday, the area was littered with plastic bags containing food, some half-eaten.

Visitors who wanted to feed the boars, perhaps wary that the animals may turn aggressive, appear to have been throwing bags of food into the "enclosure", a patch of open land separated from the main road by a small drain and green railings.

This is despite pleas from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and animal experts to the public to not feed the boars.

A delivery driver TNP met at the site was appalled at the amount of litter there.

"Are we really in Singapore?" he asked.

The man, who would identify himself only as Ah Jie, 52, said he was taking a break from work and was curious about the boars.

Additional trash bags tied to the railings from weeks before do not seem to have helped.

Mr Andrew Chng, 52, a subcontractor and Sengkang resident who was riding his bicycle in the vicinity when we met him, said of the animals: "I fear the over-dependance that is created from feeding them."

Mr Ben Lee , 52, founder of Nature Trekkers, a nature conservation group in Singapore, said the area has become a dumping ground.


"Now the litter will create more hygiene problems in the future," he added.

Although no wild boar has been caught in the Lorong Halus area yet, the AVA has started control operations.

When caught, wild boars are euthanised as relocation options are not available in land-scarce Singapore.

Mr Lee said he was against culling the animals.

He added: "All this can be prevented if people stop feeding the boars.

"It all boils down to a human-created problem once again."

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Indonesia: Fire spots spring up in W. Kalimantan

Severianus Endi The Jakarta Post 4 Jul 16;

Dozens of fire spots have been detected in several regencies across West Kalimantan, one of the areas heavily affected by thick haze from land and forest fires in previous years.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) office at Supadio International Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, stated on Monday that as of 6 a.m. local time, its MODIS satellite detected 15 fire spots in seven out of 14 regencies and municipalities across the province.

Four fire spots were detected in Bengkayang while three fire spots were found in Ketapang, the report said. Sintang and Sambas identified two fire spots each while four other regencies, comprising Kapuas Hulu, Kubu Raya, Landak and Sanggau, detected one fire spot each.

Today’s report shows fires have continued to spread in West Kalimantan as it recorded only 13 fire spots on Sunday.

West Kalimantan Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head TTA Nyarong said the government had raised the emergency level of haze for the province to high alert as of June 1. Last year, 74,000 hectares of peat land were set ablaze, making the haze disaster even worse.

“We are investigating to see whether the fire spots have emerged on plantation concession areas or on people’s land,” said Nyarong. He said the BPBD had not yet received a response to a letter, which questioned whether 74,000 hectares of peat land burned last year were on plantation concession areas, it had sent to the plantation directorate general.

A haze disaster emergency team has been set up at the provincial level to anticipate haze events, which may have adverse health and economic impacts. Currently, only Mempawah and Kapuas Hulu regencies have established a haze disaster emergency team. (ebf)

Number of Forest Fire Hotspots Increases Ahead of Idul Fitri Holiday
Antara 4 Jul 16;

Jakarta. The Indonesian space agency has recorded an increase in the number of forest fire hotspots ahead of the Idul Fitri holidays.

Based on observations by the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan) with the Modis satellite, 288 hotspots have been detected with a moderate (30 percent-79 percent) to high (80 percent or higher) confidence level on Sunday (03/07).

Of those, 245 with a 30-percent confidence level were found on Sumatra Island, spread out across the provinces of Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, Bengkulu, Jambi, Lampung and South Sumatra.

Members of the Integrated Forest Fire Taskforce in Riau have made embarked on efforts to put out the fires, while the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) allocated two helicopters and two aircraft specially adapted for firefighting.

Meanwhile, forest fires in Kuala Kampar, Riau, covering areas of up to nine hectares, are being put out by officials on foot.

Officials are also still trying to put out fires in the Tesso Nelo National Park in Riau, while in West Sumatra, forest fires have been burning for two days in locations that have been difficult to identify.

Forest fires covering areas of up to 25 hectares have been put out in various locations in Tampung and Pekanbaru in Riau since Saturday.

The locations of the forest fires, combined with dry conditions and poor accessibility to water, have made it difficult to put out.

With dry weather expected between July and September, officials predict that there will be a marked increase in the number of forest fire hotspots.

BNPB head Willem Rampangilei has ordered the provincial disaster mitigation agency to increase its efforts to extinguish forest fires, as the effects are detrimental, especially in the holiday period.

He also stated that prevention activities must be increased as it is more effective than putting out fires.

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Indonesia: Boat propellers cause of injury to two whale sharks stranded off Bali

The Jakarta Post 4 Jul 16;

Propellers from a ship used by tourists may have been the cause of severe wounds on two whale sharks recently washed ashore in Bali.

The Bali Office for Marine, Coastal & Resources Management (BPSPL) said Monday it has studied the wounds found on the two sharks now stranded on the shore of Nusa Penida island, a resort area in Bali popular for water sports.

The sharks may have collided with a tourist boat, Yudi Permana of BPSPL said, citing the result of discussions with local figures, representatives from the tourism sector including diving operators in Nusa Penida, as well as the Lembongan Marine Association, the local unit of the Water Conversation Area and the Coral Triangle Center.

The two sharks suffered wounds on their upper body, chest, rear area and tails, Yudi said. (rin)

Two whale sharks stranded on Nusa Penida coast
Antara 4 Jul 16;

Nusa Penida (ANTARA News) - Two whale sharks were found stranded on the shore of Nusa Penida Island, which is administratively a part of Bali, despite being completely separate from the island of God.

"The whale sharks were stranded due to severe injuries inflicted by the propeller blades of a boat that crossed their path," Yudi Permana from the Coast and Sea Resources Management Hall stated in Denpasar on Monday.

Based on initial analysis, the wounds on the bodies of the sharks are rather large, raising the suspicion of them being possibly hit by a propeller blade.

A verification team had visited the scene and had held a meeting with local public figures, authorities, and tourism stakeholders in Nusa Penida.

The meeting involved representatives from the Lembongan Marine Association, dive operators, the Technical Executive Unit of the Nusa Penida Water Reservoir, as well as the Coral Triangle Center.

The meeting was held to uncover the chronology of the incident and to establish preventive measures to avoid similar incidents from recurring in future.

Both whale sharks suffered wounds on their head, pectoral fin, and tail.

"The wounds indicate that they were struck by the propeller blades of a boat," remarked Yudi.

Hence, Yudi believes that special legal and regulatory measures should be implemented in Nusa Penida as the areas tourism sector had grown at a rapid pace.

Moreover, divers and dive operators are required to abide by the diving ethics, including those related to interaction with sea creatures.

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