Best of our wild blogs: 3 Mar 19

10 Mar (Sun): FREE tour of Berlayar Creek mangroves with the Naked Hermit Crabs
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Wild fun for kids during the March school holidays!
wild shores of singapore

Open for registration – Love MacRitchie Walk with Herpetological​ Society of Singapore on 23 March 2019 (Sat)
Love our MacRitchie Forest

Assorted Nectaring Plants - Part 3
Butterflies of Singapore

Night Walk Along Punggol Road (1st Mar 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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Explainer: What does a giant dislodged iceberg mean for us in Singapore?

NEO RONG WEI Today Online 2 Mar 19;

SINGAPORE — An iceberg roughly two-and-a-half times the size of Singapore could break away from a western Antarctic ice shelf in weeks, said the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) last month.

It is the result of a rift, known as a Halloween crack, intersecting with another fissure which was stable for the past 35 years but which recently started accelerating northwards.

The two rifts are set to meet in a few weeks, experts estimate, which will lead to the iceberg calving, or being dislodged.

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MPA investigating after Singapore-flagged ferry runs aground off Batam

Channel NewsAsia 2 Mar 19;

SINGAPORE: A Singapore-flagged ferry ran aground at the Karang Galang reef, off the coast of Batam, on Saturday afternoon (Mar 2), the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said.

The Wavemaster 5 ferry was on its way to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal from Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia, when the boat ran aground, MPA said.

It received a report at 1.55pm of the incident, which happened off the eastern coast of Batam.

There were 50 passengers on board the ferry, the authority said, including five Singaporeans and seven crew members. All of them were transferred to another ferry, Wavemaster 6, which was activated by operator Majestic Ferry.

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Saving water must be an individual, lifelong effort, President Halimah says on Singapore World Water Day

Shabana Begum Straits Times 2 Mar 19;

SINGAPORE - While the Government will continue to plan and invest in infrastructure to ensure a secure, diversified and sustainable supply of water, Singaporeans must play their part and use water wisely, said President Halimah Yacob.

"Each drop of water does not come easy," she said at the launch of the annual Singapore World Water Day at Marina Barrage on Saturday (March 2).

"Water conservation goes beyond a mere campaign; it has to be a sustained and collaborative effort."

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Malaysia Plans to Halt All Expansion of Palm Oil Plantations

Anuradha Raghu Bloomberg 1 Mar 19;

Malaysia plans to halt all expansion of oil palm plantations this year as it seeks to dispel the oil’s reputation as a driver of deforestation.

The world’s second-largest producer will cap the area at around 6 million hectares (14.8 million acres), Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok said in an interview Friday. That’s up from 5.85 million hectares at the end of last year, which will give some leeway to growers who are in the middle of replanting or who have already bought land, she said.

The proposal, which will be put to the cabinet for discussion by March, will require commitment and cooperation from state governments as certain land issues are under their jurisdiction, Kok said at her office in Putrajaya. Malaysia will focus on boosting productivity and yields of existing palm trees, she said.

The move comes as palm oil producers intensify their fight against simmering anti-palm oil sentiment and allegations that the crop destroys tropical rainforests that are home to endangered animals such as the orangutans.

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Malaysia: Current hot season drying up padi fields in Sabah

The Star 3 Mar 19;

KOTA BELUD: Padi fields in some places in Sabah have dried up due to the hot and dry spell affecting the country.

A visit to Kampung Tempasuk Dua here found that some padi fields have dried up due to insufficient water supply.

Rice farmers are concerned whether the current weather condition will last until April as some had planted their crops a fortnight ago.

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Malaysia: MMEA foils bid to smuggle 3,300 terrapins into country

MOHD SABRAN MD SANI New Straits Times 2 Mar 19;

BATU PAHAT: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) foiled a bid to smuggle 3,300 terrapins worth RM150,000 into the state, with the arrest of two men in Tanjung Tohor, Muar here yesterday.

Its director, Maritime Commander Mohammad Othman, said the success followed a joint inspection by the agency and the 6th Battalion general operations force in Parit Unas Pos.

He said enforcers discovered 3,300 terrapins inside seven bags after inspecting a suspicious boat at 12.30am,

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Malaysia: Retired Professor saving river terrapins

ROSLI ZAKARIA New Straits Times 2 Mar 19;

KEMAMAN: Being a retiree is not an excuse to laze around the house. For Professor Dr Maketab Mohamed, who retired from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor, two months ago, it is time to give back to society.

And being a former two-term Malaysian Nature Society president from 2010 to 2014, Maketab has his heart set on the environment and matters that threaten the survival of animals, especially those listed under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ICN) red list as “critically endangered”.

“Southern river terrapins are critically endangered. I consider it important to assist (in the conservation of the species).

“This matter needs greater publicity and awareness to ensure that the public understand the importance of their survival,” said Maketab, who often visited the Turtle Conservation Society in Kampung Pasir Gajah.

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