Best of our wild blogs: 10 Feb 19

Butterfly of the Month - February 2019
Butterflies of Singapore

Recce Trip to Lentor Avenue (08 Feb 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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Malaysia vessel Polaris, Greece-registered ship collide in Singapore waters: MPA

Channel NewsAsia 9 Feb 19;

SINGAPORE: Malaysian buoy-laying vessel Polaris and a Greece-registered ship collided in Singapore waters on Saturday (Feb 9), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said.

Polaris and bulk carrier Piraeus collided at 2.28pm on Saturday within Singapore port limits off Tuas, MPA said in a statement.

The Greek vessel was on its way from Singapore to its next port of call at Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia when the collision took place.

"MPA is deeply concerned that the presence of unauthorised vessels in Singapore port limits can cause confusion for the international shipping community and threaten navigational safety in our waters," it said.

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Smoky smell in Singapore's east caused by Johor landfill fire, says NEA

Channel NewsAsia 9 Feb 19;

SINGAPORE: A smoky smell that has lingered in the air around the eastern part of Singapore was caused by a fire at a Johor landfill, Singapore’s environment authority said on Saturday (Feb 9).

The fire at a landfill at Bandar Tenggara, southeastern Johor, has been burning since Tuesday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said.

“Malaysian authorities have been working around the clock to stop the burning,” an NEA spokesperson said in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.

Residents in the eastern part of Singapore have reported a smoky smell in the air since early Friday morning, with some speculating on social media whether it was caused by haze blowing in from other countries.

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Malaysia: Local pangolin smuggling syndicate busted

Junaidi Ladjana, Recqueal Raimi New Straits Times 9 Feb 19;

TUARAN: Sabah police and wildlife enforcement team have uncovered a local pangolin smuggling syndicate which has been operating for seven years in Kota Kinabalu and Tuaran districts.

The syndicate was also involved in the processing of meats and skins of the fully protected animal.

Two days ago, police and enforcement team from the Sabah Wildlife Department raided a factory at Jalan Sepanggar, Kota Kiabalu, and a warehouse in Kampung Bontoi, Jalan Tamparuli, here, and seized live pangolins, frozen pangolins, pangolin scales and meat worth RM8.4 million.

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Malaysia: Green turtle found dead at Pohon Batu beach; cause of death unknown

Bernama New Straits Times 9 Feb 19;

LABUAN: A green sea turtle was found dead at Pohon Batu beach here, with portions of its intestines allegedly taken out from its abdomen.

The most endangered and threatened species of the sea turtle was found by a villager at Kg Pohon Batu on Friday morning and it was subsequently reported to the Fisheries Department at 2.15pm the same day.

The discovery came as a shock to the Labuan Marine Park, turtle conservationists and villagers, who urged for a thorough investigation to be carried out on any elements of illegal hunting of sea turtles for eggs and meat.

Labuan Fisheries Department director Faizal Suhaili Ibrahim told Bernama that based on a preliminary investigation, there seemed to be no ‘foul play’ in the turtle’s death, but assured that thorough investigation would be conducted.

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Asia's palm oil industry braces for backlash at home

Environmental concerns no longer an issue only in Western markets
SARAH HILTON and ERI SUGIURA, Nikkei 9 Feb 19;

A worker collects fruit at a palm plantation in Malaysia, one of the world's biggest producers of palm oil. (Getty Images)
TOKYO -- Signs that a consumer backlash against palm oil is spreading to Asia has prompted companies in the region to take action, from pledging to adopt sustainable sourcing to joining international certification standards.

One of Japan's largest supermarket chains Aeon has pledged to source only sustainable palm oil for its private brand by 2020, while Chinese membership in one of the world's most stringent certification regimes has soared in the last five years.

These moves come amid an ongoing spat between Malaysia and the European Union over imports of palm oil for use in bio fuels. The environmental impact of palm oil -- which is used in consumers goods ranging from toothpaste to snacks to cosmetics -- has long been a hot-button issue in the West, where it has sparked calls for boycott and other action against the industry.

A similar backlash in Asia could hit palm oil growers and consumer goods companies even harder given the scale of the market. While the EU consumes around 10% of the world's palm oil, the top four Asian markets -- India, Indonesia, China and Malaysia -- accounted for nearly 43% of consumption by volume in 2017.

Malaysia and Indonesia maybe have the most to lose if Asia sours on the commodity -- the two together account for 85% of global output.

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