Best of our wild blogs: 2 Dec 18

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

The Park that Never Ceases to Amaze Us: Pasir Ris Park
Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

Night Walk At Pasir Ris Park (30 Nov 2018)
Beetles@SG BLOG

Butterfly Photography at Our Local Parks - Kranji Marshes
Butterflies of Singapore

Giant clam girl explains the how and why fish talk!
Mei Lin NEO

Read more!

The banana money trail: Prices rising in Singapore, but farmers not gaining

The cost of bananas from the Philippines has shot up, but farmers are struggling with losses, so where is the money from consumers going to, ultimately? The series For Food’s Sake! investigates.
Derrick A Paulo and Anna Tolentino Channel NewsAsia 1 Dec 18;

DAVAO, Philippines: Of all the types of bananas his family’s fruit business sells, the Philippine Cavendish variety is the most popular, owing to its appearance.

“They look almost perfect. There are fewer blemishes and fewer scratches, compared to the Malaysian ones,” said retailer Ben Phua. “Malaysian bananas have black spots.”

Those spots are actually sugar spots and thus equate to sweeter bananas, but “not many consumers are willing to accept the look of the bananas”.

The price he pays for the Cavendish variety, however, has gone up by 25 per cent in the past three years. That works out at around 50 cents more per kilogramme, which is passed on to customers.

The reason for the hike is a fungal disease – one that all banana growers fear – which struck the Philippines hard in 2015 and has since wiped out plantations.

Read more!

Indonesia: ‘We’re only fighting fires of past sinners’: Luhut defends govt's palm oil support

The Jakarta Post 2 Dec 18;

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has rebuffed claims that he and the government were not paying attention to the deforestation and forest fires caused by oil palm plantations.

He said he was also worried about their environmental impacts on younger generations, but he claimed the government was struggling to make progress since the land concessions for the plantations, some of which were on fire-prone peatlands, had been given out by past governments.

“We’re just fighting fires [created by] past sinners,” he said during a press conference at his office in Central Jakarta on Friday, as quoted by

Luhut reiterated his derision for environmental group Greenpeace Indonesia, which had disrupted the operations of a tanker carrying palm oil belonging to the Wilmar trading company in the Bay of Cadiz near Spain, saying that the government has every right to question the local chapter of an international group.

Read more!

Indonesia: Injured Sumatran elephant rescued, fitted with tracker

Nurul Fitri Ramadhani
The Jakarta Post 1 Dec 18;

An injured elephant was found in Panca village, Aceh Besar, Aceh, on Thursday, after she had been roaming around plantations in the area for days.

Residents reported sighting the female, which had injuries to her tail and the left side of her chest, to the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Aceh). The agency sent a team to start searching for the elephant on Wednesday night and she was located on Thursday.

The chairman of BKSDA Aceh, Sapto Adji Prabowo, and his team conducted surgery on the elephant on the same day. The team had to amputate the tail as the injury and resulting infection was too severe to save it.

“The surgery ran smoothly and the elephant has been given antibiotics and vitamins,” Sapto said in a written statement.

Read more!

Indonesia: Walhi calls for protection of Sumatran tiger

Antara 1 Dec 18;

Medan, N Sumatra, (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Forum for Environment (Walhi) has called for protection of Sumatran tiger or Panthera Tigris Sumatrae and called on the people to not hunt it.

"Protecting Sumatran tiger is not only the responsibility of the government but also the people," the executive director of Walhi North Sumatra, Dana Prima Tarigan, said here on Saturday.

She said tigers that entered neighborhoods must not be hurt or killed, adding that the animal had done it because their habitat has been damaged by the irresponsible people.

She said the killing of a tiger that recently entered Bangkelang village in the district of Mandailing Natal, North Sumatra, must never happen again.

Read more!