Best of our wild blogs: 26 Feb 19

Open for registration – Love MacRitchie Walk with NUS Toddycats! on 10 March 2019 (Sun)
Love our MacRitchie Forest

16 Mar (Sat): The Singapore Blue Plan joins Celebrating Singapore Shores at Berlayar Creek
Singapore Blue Plan

Showing our love for the environment @ NUS PEACE Animal Day 2019

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Hotspot in Johor could bring 'slightly hazy' conditions to Singapore: NEA

Channel NewsAsia 25 Feb 19;

SINGAPORE: A hotspot in southern Johor could bring "slightly hazy" conditions to Singapore if the winds change, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Monday (Feb 25).

The hotspot was detected about 30km to the east of Singapore, NEA said.

"Prevailing winds over Singapore have been blowing from the northeast, but a change in the wind direction could bring slightly hazy conditions to Singapore," it added.

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Malaysia Heatwave: MetMalaysia issues 'Level 1' alert for 10 areas nationwide

Hashini Kavishtri Kannan New Straits Times 25 Feb 19;

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) issued a Level 1 alert yesterday for ten areas in the country amidst the ongoing nationwide heatwave.

According to MetMalaysia’s official website, the Level 1 areas are Chuping (Perlis); Kubang Pasu, Kota Setar and Sik (Kedah); Hulu Perak, Kuala Kangsar and Kinta (Perak); Maran (Pahang); Kepong (Kuala Lumpur); and Muar (Johor).

The alerts were issued after the ten areas experienced maximum temperatures of between 35°C and 37°C for three consecutive days.

MetMalaysia’s weather overview for the month of Feb also reported that most of Peninsular Malaysia experienced dry conditions, with rainfall of less that 150mm.

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Indonesia takes steps to prevent wildfires ahead of El Nino

Straits Times 25 Feb 19;

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Indonesian government has declared 16 provinces in the country prone to forest and land fires ahead of the upcoming El Nino, a climate pattern linked to warming waters in the central and eastern areas of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Such weather phenomena are known to trigger an extension of the dry season in Indonesia, which can increase the risk of wildfires.

An official with the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, Bambang Sugeng, said the emergency declaration that certain areas were wildfire-prone was made as a warning for these regions to stay alert to prevent forest and land fires.

"We are prioritising some provinces, such as South Sumatra, Jambi, Aceh and Riau," Mr Bambang said after a meeting in South Sumatra recently. He added that most of these regions have vast areas of peat land that could easily burn during the dry season.

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Indonesia: Governor calls on people to cultivate peatlands for farming

Antara 25 Feb 19;

Pontianak, W Kalimantan, Feb 25 (ANTARA News) - West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji has called on people to utilize peatland areas in the region to plant horticulture commodities as part of the efforts to prevent land and forest fires in the region.

"People will surely be able to prevent fires from arising in the land after they begin cultivating it for farming," Sutarmidji stated here on Monday.

He cited the example of North Pontianak`s farmers, who have produced some 30 tons of different vegetables daily from 800 hectares of land.

"In fact, many types of crops can be cultivated in peat soil, such as the Pontianak sweet taro, which is known for its good quality," he added.

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Cambodia: Poachers kill elephant in wildlife sanctuary

AFP 25 Feb 10;

An elephant has been found dead with its tusks and tail sliced off in a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia, where wild elephant numbers have dwindled to just a few hundred due to poaching and deforestation.

The Southeast Asian nation has emerged in recent years as a key transit hub for the multi-billion dollar illicit wildlife trade, with demand for products made from tusks, pangolin scales and rhino horns high in China and neighbouring Vietnam.

According to the Mondulkiri Project, an animal rescue NGO, there are about 400 elephants in the wild in Cambodia, and about 50 held in captivity.

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