Best of our wild blogs: 6 May 19

Butterfly of the Month - May 2019
Butterflies of Singapore

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Scientific Officer (Outreach and Education Unit)
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

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2 new spots for Nee Soon residents to share reusable bags

Lim Min Zhang Straits Times 6 May 19;

While Singapore has not imposed a charge for single-use plastic bags, Nee Soon South constituency yesterday took another step towards encouraging the use of reusable bags.

It launched two more reusable bag-sharing stations, placed at the Sheng Siong and NTUC supermarkets in Khatib Central.

Anyone who requires the bags can take one, and they are encouraged to return them for the next user.

Since April last year, reusable bag-sharing stations have been set up at the eight residents' committees in the district and at Nee Soon South Community Club.

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Indonesia: BMKG issues extreme weather warning over next three days

Antara 6 May 19;

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has forecast extreme weather in the subsequent three days in different parts of Indonesia.

Extreme weather conditions will arise due to low-pressure concentration in the Pacific Ocean, north of Papua, and in the Banda Sea, the agency noted in a written statement released on Monday.

Bengkulu, South Sumatra, Lampung, Banten, Jakarta, Java Sea, South Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua will experience wind shears, while East Kalimantan will bear witness to convergence.

The agency remarked that Jambi, Lampung, West Java, Yogyakarta, Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, and Papua were among the regions that could potentially be lashed by heavy downpours on Monday (May 5).

In the meantime, Aceh, North Sumatra, Bangka Belitung Islands, Jakarta and its surrounding areas (Jabodetabek), East Java, West Kalimantan, and Maluku were among the areas that may potentially receive high-intensity rainfall along with strong winds and flashes or lightening.

Torrential rains can potentially hit Jambi, Lampung, West Java, Yogyakarta, North Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, and Papua on Tuesday (May 7)

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A million species risk extinction, are we one of them?

Marlowe HOOD, AFP Yahoo News 6 May 19;

Paris (AFP) - Humanity is rapidly destroying the natural world upon which our prosperity -- and ultimately our survival -- depends, according to a landmark UN assessment of the state of Nature released Monday.

Changes wrought by decades of pillaging and poisoning forests, oceans, soil and air threaten society "at least as much as climate change," said Robert Watson, who chaired the 132-nation meeting that validated a Summary for Policymakers forged by 450 experts.

One million animal and plant species face extinction, many within decades, they reported.

Alarmingly, the accelerating pace at which unique life-forms are disappearing -- already tens to hundreds of times faster than during the last ten million years -- could tip Earth into the first mass extinction since non-avian dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago.

In the short term, humans are not at risk, said Josef Settele, a professor at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany and co-chair of the UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

"In the longer term, it is hard to say," he told AFP. "If humans do go extinct, Nature will find its way, it always does."

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Australia's capital cities face water restrictions as dams near 50%

Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have seen water levels hit near-decade lows after a hot summer and dry autumn
Naaman Zhou The Guardian 6 May 19;

Sydney, Darwin, Brisbane and Melbourne are all facing the prospect of dams below 50% capacity after low rainfall and high temperatures across the country.

In Sydney, inflows are at their lowest since 1940. Greater Sydney’s 11 dams were at a combined 55% capacity on Sunday – compared to 73% at the same time last year.

Sydney activated its desalination plant in January, when dam levels dropped below 60%, but levels continue to drop 0.4% a week. Stricter water restrictions will come into effect if the level drops below 50%. The last time Sydney’s dam levels neared 50% was in 2011.

In the Northern Territory, the Darwin river dam received its lowest-ever rainfall in March, as the territory recorded its driest wet season in 27 years. On Sunday, Darwin’s dam was at 76% capacity, compared with 98% last year.

In Melbourne, dam levels were at 51% on Monday, compared with 59% last year and 61% the year before.

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