Best of our wild blogs: 27 Feb 19

Unscience the Giant Clams!
Mei Lin NEO

Shore exploration for kids with Young Nautilus
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Malaysia: Water reserves at two major Johor dams dip to critical levels

New Straits Times 27 Feb 19;

KOTA TINGGI: The water level at the Sungai Lebam Dam, near here, has dropped to almost two metres below the critical point.

The dam normally enjoys an effective capacity of 14m – but the water level currently stands at just 10.9m, much lower than the 12.7m critical point, Bernama reported.

As such, residents in and around Kota Tinggi have been urged to use water sparingly until the current dry spell ends.

“The dam currently has enough water to supply residents for about 70 days.

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Malaysia: 40ha of Pahang forest, peat land on fire

T.N. Alagesh New Straits Times 26 Feb 19;

KUANTAN: Some 40ha of forest and peat land near the Gebeng Industrial area, near here, caught fire yesterday afternoon.

Thick smoke enveloped the industrial area today as firemen and Gebeng Emergency Mutual Aid (Gema) members worked to prevent the blaze from spreading to the nearby Kuantan bypass stretch and Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP).

Pahang Fire and Rescue Department chief Nor Hisham Mohammed said the fire broke out about 2.30pm yesterday and firemen were working around the clock to bring the situation under control.

“The affected area is about 101ha and fire is ravaging some 40ha of land,” he said.

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Indonesia: Forest fires gut 1,136 hectares of area in Riau

Antara 26 Feb 19;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - Forest fires have gutted a total of 1,136 hectares (ha) of forest and plantation areas in Riau Province since January 2019.

The figure showed an increase of 150 ha within the last 48 hours, Edwar Sanger, head of the Riau disaster mitigation office, stated here on Tuesday.

Hotspots were detected along the coastal regions of Riau, such as Bengkalis, Dumai, Rokan Hilir, and Indragiri Hilir, he noted.

A joint team comprising local firefighters, disaster mitigation personnel, and military and police officers were deployed to extinguish the fires.

Water bombs were also dropped from a Casa 12 aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force to put out the blaze that has produced haze on Rupat Island.

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Millions of fish have been dying in Australia’s major rivers

Ruby Prosser Scully New Scientist 26 Feb 19;

Fish have been struggling to breathe and dying by the millions on the banks of Australia’s largest river system. Experts say that without serious change, it will continue to happen.

Poor management, excess upstream irrigation and drought led to three mass deaths of endangered fish species during December and January in the Murray-Darling Basin. These deaths included Murray cod fish that were decades old, according to an investigation by the Australian Academy of Science that was published last week.

Craig Moritz at the Australian National University in Canberra, who chaired the investigation, says the sight of millions of dead fish should be a wake-up call. He described the mass fish deaths as a mainland equivalent of the coral bleaching events that have been hitting the Great Barrier Reef.

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