Best of our wild blogs: 17 Apr 19

Pulau Ubin mangrove restoration featured on 'Tipping Point' on Channel NewsAsia
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative

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NParks volunteer fined S$4,700 for organising illegal night photography session in Windsor Nature Park

LOW YOUJIN Today Online 17 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — A nature guide abused his position as a volunteer with the National Parks Board (NParks) to lead a photography group into Windsor Nature Park after hours, despite knowing full well that he did not have the authority to do so.

For illegal entry into the Central Catchment Nature Reserve’s buffer park, instigating others to follow, and for blocking the entrance to its carpark, Lee Chin Tiong, 57, was fined a total of S$4,700.

The court heard on Tuesday (April 16) that Lee, also known as Ben Lee, had organised a night macro photography session on Feb 20, 2018, for a group of four photography enthusiasts and two of his assistants.

Lee, who is also the founder of the “self-styled” nature conservation group Nature Trekker, had planned to enter the park at around 8.30pm.

The park, located at Venus Drive, is closed to the public from 7pm to 7am, and this information is stated on signs posted at the park’s entrance and on NParks’ website.

The statutory board’s prosecutor Ron Goh said this enforced closure allows the “nocturnal rhythms of the animals within the reserve to be undisturbed by human activity”.

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New scheme to entice businesses to use Sentosa as living lab for innovative ideas

JANICE LIM The Star 16 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — Businesses with innovative ideas about everything from biodiversity enhancement to waste management are being invited to use Sentosa as a testbed for their solutions.

To sweeten the deal, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) will even reduce or waive their rental fees on the island and help them with getting licensing and regulatory approvals.

The new initiative, Sentosa x Enterprise, aims to entice innovative businesses to use Sentosa as their live laboratory and in turn drive visitorship to the island.

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Malaysia arrests Vietnam poachers, seizes tiger, bear parts

AFP 16 Apr 19;

Tigers are considered critically endangered in Malaysia
Malaysian authorities have arrested two suspected poachers from Vietnam and seized body parts from tigers and bears, a minister said Tuesday, as the country clamps down on rampant wildlife trafficking.

The Southeast Asian nation is home to swathes of jungle and a kaleidoscope of rare creatures from elephants to orangutans and tigers, but they are frequently targeted by poachers.

Two Vietnamese men, aged 25 and 29, were arrested Monday by a wildlife enforcement team in a national park in eastern Terengganu state, said Xavier Jayakumar, water, land and natural resources minister.

The men were in possession of claws and teeth from the Malayan tiger, he said. The species once roamed the jungles of Malaysia in the thousands but is now critically endangered, with just a small number believed left in the wild.

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Indonesia: Limit number of silky sharks caught, says LIPI

The Jakarta Post 16 Apr 19;

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has suggested that the number of silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) caught in Indonesian waters should be restricted to prevent the species from becoming extinct.

"Silky sharks can still be caught but the number should be limited," LIPI's oceanography division head, Dirhamsyah, said on Monday at the launch of its Non-Detriment Finding (NDF) research document concerning the sustainable management of silky sharks.

Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), he said the NDF recommended that the quota for silky sharks should be 80,000 this year, with a minimum length of 2 meters and a weight of 50 kilograms.

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Six-decade plankton study charts rise of ocean plastic waste

Handwritten journals from 50s show how plastic problem has grown to global emergency
Jonathan Watts The Guardian 16 Apr 19;

A trove of data showing when the Atlantic began choking with plastic has been uncovered in the handwritten logbooks of a little-known but doggedly persistent plankton study dating back to the middle of the last century.

From fishing twine found in the ocean in the 50s, then a first carrier bag in 1965, it reflects how the marine refuse problem grew from small, largely ignored incidents to become a matter of global concern.

The unique dataset, published in Nature Communications, is based on records from the continuous plankton recorder, a torpedo-shaped marine sampling device that has been towed across more than 6.5m nautical miles of ocean over the past 60 years.

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