Best of our wild blogs: 3 Sep 18

Fun at Pasir Ris with the Naked Hermit Crabs
wild shores of singapore

Butterfly Photography at Our Local Parks - Windsor Nature Park
Butterflies of Singapore

Now, that was FUN (Friends of Ubin Network)!
Wan's Ubin Journal

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Malaysia: Another elephant dies in Sabah, making it 26th case reported in the state this year

Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 2 Sep 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah recorded its 26th elephant death for this year as a juvenile male succumbed to snare trap injuries while undergoing treatment at Borneon Elephant Sanctuary in Kinabatangan this morning.

State Wildlife Department spokesman Siti Nur’ain Ampuan Acheh said the juvenile male elephant, aged about 5, was rescued at Ulu Segama Forest Reserve in Lahad Datu on Tuesday.

“A team consisted of a veterinarian and wildlife rangers was dispatched to the location to rescue the injured elephant.

“They managed to capture the elephant and initiated treatment,” she said in a statement, adding the elephant was weak and had suffered a severe and deep wound which already reached the bone of left front leg.

She added further treatment was supposed to be done at the sanctuary but it did not respond well to the treatment and died at 8.40am this morning.

“Post mortem was conducted to determine the cause of death.

“Findings revealed that the elephant died due to septicemia which originated from the severe snare trap injury.”

On Thursday, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had ordered the state Tourism, Culture, Environment Minister Christina Liew and Agriculture and Food Industry Junz Wong to hold special meetings with plantation owners on the issue.

The initiative is to engage plantation workers to help with the fight against poaching and killing in their areas.

Liew had said a special unit will be formed when experts from the United States arrive to address elephants poaching and killing issues in Sabah.

Rescued jumbo dies of injuries caused by snare trap
natasha joibi The Star 2 Sep 18;

KOTA KINABALU: A juvenile male Bornean pygmy elephant has died a week after he was found with an injury on his front left leg caused by a snare trap at Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, Lahad Datu.

Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) public relations officer Siti Nur'Ain Ampuan Acheh said the five-year-old pachyderm died on the way to the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary in Kinabatangan at about 8.40am on Sunday (Sept 2).

Siti Nur'Ain said the elephant was rescued on Aug 26 after it was found with an injury on its leg caused by the trapping device.

She added that a team comprising a veterinarian and wildlife rangers was dispatched to the location to rescue the injured animal.

"They managed to capture the elephant and initiated treatment. He suffered a severe and deep wound which had already reached the bone.

"The elephant was also in poor physical condition and weak," she said.

Siti Nur'Ain said the animal did not respond well to the treatment and died while being transported to the sanctuary for further treatment.

"Post-mortem was conducted to determine the cause of death.

"Findings revealed that the elephant died due to septicaemia which originated from the severe snare trap injury," she explained.

SWD is investigating the manager of the adjoining plantation.

The latest death brings to 26 the number of elephants killed this year.

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Thailand: With rising sea levels, Bangkok struggles to stay afloat

Sophie DEVILLER AFP Yahoo News 2 Sep 18;

Bangkok (AFP) - As Bangkok prepares to host climate-change talks, the sprawling city of more than 10 million is itself under siege from the environment, with dire forecasts warning it could be partially submerged in just over a decade.

A preparatory meeting begins Tuesday in Thailand's capital for the next UN climate conference, a crunch summit in Poland at the end of 2018 to set rules on reducing greenhouse emissions and providing aid to vulnerable countries.

As temperatures rise, abnormal weather patterns -- like more powerful cyclones, erratic rainfall, and intense droughts and floods -- are predicted to worsen over time, adding pressure on governments tasked with bringing the 2015 Paris climate treaty to life.

Bangkok, built on once-marshy land about 1.5 metres (five feet) above sea level, is projected to be one of the world's hardest hit urban areas, alongside fellow Southeast Asian behemoths Jakarta and Manila.

"Nearly 40 percent" of Bangkok will be inundated by as early as 2030 due to extreme rainfall and changes in weather patterns, according to a World Bank report.

Currently, the capital "is sinking one to two centimetres a year and there is a risk of massive flooding in the near future," said Tara Buakamsri of Greenpeace.

Seas in the nearby Gulf of Thailand are rising by four millimetres a year, above the global average.

The city "is already largely under sea level", said Buakamsri.

In 2011, when the monsoon season brought the worst floods in decades, a fifth of the city was under water. The business district was spared thanks to hastily constructed dikes.

But the rest of Thailand was not so fortunate and the death toll passed 500 by the end of the season.

Experts say unchecked urbanisation and eroding shorelines will leave Bangkok and its residents in a critical situation.

- 'Venice of the East' -

With the weight of skyscrapers contributing to the city's gradual descent into water, Bangkok has become a victim of its own frenetic development.

Making things worse, the canals which used to traverse the city have now been replaced by intricate road networks, said Suppakorn Chinvanno, a climate expert at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

"They had contributed to a natural drainage system," he said, adding that the water pathways earned the city the nickname 'Venice of the East'.

Shrimp farms and other aquacultural development -- sometimes replacing mangrove forests that protected against storm surges -- have also caused significant erosion to the coastline nearest the capital.

This means that Bangkok could be penned in by flooding from the sea in the south and monsoon floods from the north, said Chinvanno.

"Specialists anticipate more intense storms in this region in the years to come."

Narong Raungsri, director of Bangkok's Department of Drainage and Sewage, admitted that the city's "weaknesses" stem from its small tunnels and the hyper-development of neighbourhoods.

"What used to act as water basins are now no more," Raungsri said.

"Our system can only handle so much -- we need to enlarge it."

Today, the government is scrambling to mitigate the effects of climate change, constructing a municipal canal network of up to 2,600 kilometres with pumping stations and eight underground tunnels to evacuate water if disaster strikes.

Chulalongkorn University in 2017 also built in central Bangkok an 11-acre park specially designed to drain several million litres of rain and redirect it so surrounding neighbourhoods are not flooded.

But these ad-hoc fixes may not be enough.

"We need a clear policy of land management," said Greenpeace's Buakamsri, adding that the need for increased green spaces is outweighed by developers' interests.

"The high price of land in Bangkok makes economic interests a priority."

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