Best of our wild blogs: 1 Mar 19

16 Mar (Sat): Marine Open House at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

CDL E-Generation Challenge 2019: Win tickets to the Arctic
Green Drinks Singapore

Discover your natural heritage at a Love MacRitchie walk, Jan – Jun 2019
Love our MacRitchie Forest

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Malaysia: Wolbachia Project showing results

Veena Babulal, Teoh Pei Ying New Straits Times 1 Mar 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA’S long battle with dengue may show some sign of relief with the Health Ministry ’s release of Aedes mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Institute for Medical Research’s (IMR) pilot project involving the release of the infected vector in Shah Alam and Keramat two years ago had begun to show encouraging signs.

This came at a crucial time because as at Feb 23, there was a 163 per cent jump in dengue cases compared with the same period last year.

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Malaysia: A week on, firemen still battling peat fire in Pengerang

venesa devi The Star 28 Feb 19;

PENGERANG: Scores of firemen are still battling to put out a peat fire near Jalan Penawar here since last week.

Bandar Penawar Fire and Rescue station chief Mohd Fadli Ismail said the fire was believed to have started on Thursday (Feb 21) at 8.47am.

"The total area of the field is about 400ha but we have managed to stop the fire from spreading to the whole area.

"About 10% of the fire has been put out while more than half of the field has been rescued from the spread of the fire," he said.

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Malaysia: Firefighters put out 70 per cent of forest fires in Gebeng

Bernama New Straits Times 28 Feb 19;

KUANTAN: The Pahang Fire and Rescue Department has put out the fire in 70 per cent of 60 hectares of forest land in the Gebeng industrial area here which occurred last Monday.

Its director Nor Hisham Mohamad said the strategy to create blockages and raise the water level in the area had stopped the fire from spreading to other areas.

“The early strategy to control the fire in the main area and flooding it seemed to be effective in putting it out by the fourth day today.

“We are using a tactical combination, which is to raise the overall level of water by building blockages while our firefighters put out the fire directly, “ he told reporters here today.

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Malaysia: Dams drying up fast in some states like Johor

Olivia Miwil, Mohamed Basyir New Straits Times 28 Feb 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: DAMS in some states are drying up due to the hot and dry weather, with Sungai Lebam Dam in Johor at below the critical level.

Residents in Kota Tinggi, Johor, have been advised to use water sparingly as the water level in Sungai Lebam Dam is almost 2m below the critical level.

Johor International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said the normal water level in the dam was 14m, while the critical level was 12.7m, but current readings showed it was at 10.9m.

“The current hot and dry spell is a cause for concern to the Johor government.

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Malaysia: 'Temperatures will soar to 38℃'

Veena Babulal New Straits Times 28 Feb 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIANS have to bear with the current heatwave a little bit longer as temperatures are expected to soar to 38°C at the end of next month or beginning of April.

The Meteorological Department’s National Weather and Geophysics Operations Centre director Dr Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip said it was possible for temperatures to reach 38°C due to the hot and dry conditions, usually experienced during the tail-end of the northeast monso on.

“In Perlis, Kedah and Perak, the temperatures are expected to reach 38°C even though the normal temperatures in those areas range from 32°C to 34°C.

“Since it’s only the end of February, we may have to brace for two more months of hot weather before there is some relief, with increased showers nationwide during the inter-monsoon period at the end of April,” he told the New Straits Times here yesterday.

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Indonesia: Haze on the way? Sumatra forest fires rage amidst heatwave

New Straits Times 27 Feb 19;

JAKARTA: Forest fires which have been raging in Riau province, Sumatra since January are worsening due to the current heatwave plaguing the region.

The current blaze has spread to over 1,136 hectares and is growing, and smoke is beginning to blanket the area, data from the Riau District Disaster Management Agency revealed today.

Indonesian authorities are currently struggling to douse the fires through methods such as water bombing, Bernama reported.

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Indonesia: Sumatran tigers seen on plantation in Riau

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 28 Feb 19;

The Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Riau) is searching for a family of Sumatran tigers that was seen recently by a farmer in a bid to protect them from poachers.

Warsan, a local farmer, saw two tiger cubs playing at his rubber plantation, not far from Tanah Datar village in Indragi Hulu regency, on Monday morning. He wanted to approach the cubs to verify that they were indeed tigers.

However, their mother suddenly came out from the bush, prompting Warsan to run away to the nearby village to report the finding to the village head.

The Sumatran tiger population on the island of Sumatra is currently decreasing as a result of deforestation and rampant poaching. The Sumatran tiger has been listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2008.

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