Best of our wild blogs: 31 Jul 19

Open for registration – Love MacRitchie Walk with NUS Toddycats! on 10 Aug 2019 (Sat)
Love our MacRitchie Forest

Cryptics, Mimics and Camouflage
Hantu Blog

Singapore Raptor Report – Late Spring Migration, April-June 2019
Singapore Bird Group

Night Walk At Ang Mo Kio Garden West (26 Jul 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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4 more die of dengue, 9 deaths in total in 2019: MOH, NEA

Channel NewsAsia 29 Jul 19;

SINGAPORE: Four people have died from dengue in recent weeks, bringing the total number of dengue deaths this year to nine, the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement on Monday (Jul 29).

The four men died between Jun 30 and Jul 16, the authorities said.

The first, a 70-year-old man, who died on Jun 30, lived within a previously active dengue cluster at Hougang Avenue 5. The cluster was closed on Jul 12, with four dengue cases reported.

Three others died on Jul 16, the statement added.

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Istana launches series of medallions, featuring oriental pied hornbill and barn owl, to mark 150th anniversary

Ng Huiwen Straits Times 28 Jul 19;

SINGAPORE - The public can get their hands on a series of four souvenir medallions celebrating the Istana's rich diversity of flora and fauna from Sunday (July 28).

Two of the medallions, which are available only in a special 4-in-1 set, depict the beloved oriental pied hornbill and barn owl among tropical fruits and spices, The Singapore Mint said.

Only 100 of the special medallion sets will be available at the National Day Open House on Sunday.

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4 Mandai research projects awarded $600,000 funding

Teams will study area's environmental conditions, effects of eco-tourism plans
Lee Qing Ping Straits Times 30 Jul 19;

Four local environmental research projects have been awarded a total of $600,000 to study conditions in the Mandai precinct.

Some of the projects will also help identify ways to address the impact of developments to turn the area into an eco-tourism hub.

The grants were announced yesterday and will be disbursed by Mandai Park Development (MPD), the body overseeing the precinct's development.

It envisions the area becoming an integrated nature and wildlife district that will include a new rainforest park in addition to the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari and Bird Park, which will be moved over from Jurong.

"Having been allocated this land for development, our aim is to strive for a better outcome than before," said Dr Lee Hui Mien, MPD's vice-president of sustainable solutions.

"The additional research will allow us to proactively identify knowledge gaps and delve deeper into specific issues which may be unique to the Mandai district.

"New data could also add to the scientific advancement of our local biodiversity knowledge."

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Explainer: Can artificial snow save the West Antarctic ice sheet and prevent sea levels from rising?


SINGAPORE — With the West Antarctic ice sheet starting to melt, which can lead to a rise in sea levels, a team of researchers has come up with a radical proposal: To artificially create snow to thicken up the ice sheet.

The team proposed using over 12,000 wind turbines to pump cold water from the sea onto the surface to create snow, which then becomes part of the ice sheet.

The study, released on Wednesday (July 17), was led by a professor from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, Adam Levermann, who told Reuters: “We are already at a point of no return if we don’t do anything.”

However, the team cautioned that “the practical realisation of elevating and distributing the ocean water would mean an unprecedented effort for humankind in one of the harshest environments of the planet”.

TODAY spoke to several experts to find out how feasible the proposal is.

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Could more be done to reduce plastic packaging waste in Singapore's supermarkets?

Ang Hwee Min Channel NewsAsia 28 Jul 19;

SINGAPORE: A stroll around most supermarkets reveals how important plastic seems to be in the sale of fresh food.

Fruit and vegetables are often wrapped in plastic while meat and fish usually comes in a tray encased in clingwrap. There are also usually plenty of plastic bags on hand for those loose items that shoppers select before they're weighed and priced.

Such scenes are repeated at supermarkets around the world.

But questions are starting to be raised about whether more should be done to reduce the reliance of supermarkets on plastic packaging, as the debate extends beyond cutting down on plastic shopping bags.

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Indonesia: Five provinces declare emergency status for land and forest fires

Antara 30 Jul 19;

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture announced that five provinces in the country have declared an emergency status over land and forest fires in response to the threat of drought with moderate to high risks in 2019

The five provinces are Riau, West Kalimantan, South Sumatra, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan.

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Malaysia: Shrinking home range causing human-wildlife conflict, says MNS president

The Star 28 Jul 19;

MELAKA (Bernama): Lately, there has been a lot of news about wild animals such as tigers, elephants and tapir straying into human areas and causing conflict between the two sides.

Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail (pic) said wild animals needed space to find food, a mate and establish territory.

"Unsystematic forest exploration is shrinking the forest. Human settlements close to animal habitats are having an impact on wildlife home range and forcing the animals to wander into human territory,” he said when contacted by Bernama recently.

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Malaysia: Save the Malayan Tiger trust fund gets MYCAT financial boost

New Straits Times 28 Jul 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT) has presented a cash donation of RM46,800 to the Save the Malayan Tiger trust fund.

Its general manager Dr Kae Kawanishi said the donation, collected over the years from anonymous donors and volunteers, would be used for better protection of tigers in Taman Negara.

“I am from Japan, and we have this proverb, ‘Even dust can accumulate to be a mountain’.

“To some, RM46,800 is not a lot of money, but for us it exemplifies a proud example made by numerous individuals over the years,” she said in a statement in conjunction with Global Tiger Day, today.

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Malaysia: Wild elephant dies after hit by lorry in Hulu Terengganu

Bernama New Straits Times 29 Jul 19;

HULU TERENGGANUL: A wild elephant was killed after it was hit by a lorry carrying iron ore in an incident at KM44 of Jalan Kuala Berang-Aring here, last night.

Hulu Terengganu district police chief DSP Mohd Adli Mat Daud said the incident occurred at about 10.30 pm when lorry driver Emyhaizi Ahmad, 32, was heading from Gua Musang to the Kemaman Port.

According to Mohd Adli, the driver reported that when he arrived at the scene, a group of wild elephants suddenly came out of the forest area, and he could not stop the vehicle in time.

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Indonesia sends 7 containers of plastic waste back to France, Hong Kong

Fadli The Jakarta Post 30 Jul 19;

The Batam Customs Office in Riau Islands has sent seven containers containing hazardous and toxic waste owned by importing company PT Arya Wiraraja Plastinindo on their way back to France and Hong Kong.

The seven were the first out of a batch of 49 containers of toxic waste to be shipped back to their countries of origin to have started their return journeys. They were shipped from Batu Ampar Port in Batam, Riau Islands on Monday.

The loading of the seven containers onto the Capricorn 97.210 barge was conducted by Batam Customs Office workers and witnessed by representatives of the Environment and Forestry Ministry, the Riau Islands Police, the Batam district prosecutors office and local environment agencies.

The ship took the seven containers to Singapore on a four-hour trip. From Singapore, the containers continued their journey to Hong Kong and France.

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Indonesia: East Nusa Tenggara set to close Komodo Island

Antara 29 Jul 19;

Kupang (ANTARA) - East Nusa Tenggara is set to close the Komodo Island tourist area in West Manggarai district in 2020 despite objections from communities, Deputy Governor of the province, Josef A Nae Soi has stated.

"The decision to close the Komodo Island tourist area is already final, and it will take effect in 2020. This closure is intended for conservation purpose in order to maintain the Komodos population and its habitat," said the deputy governor here Monday.

The protests from the community rejecting the closure of the tourist area was an expected response to the government's policy, Nae Soi remarked.

The closure is an effort to conserve the Komodo National Park and Komodo population from extinction, he said.

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Indonesia: Ministry to release two Sumatran tigers in Riau

Antara 29 Jul 19;

Pekanbaru (ANTARA) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry will release two Sumatran tigers into their habitat in Riau Province after it cooperated with the Dharmasraya Sumatra Tigers Rehabilitation Center-ARSARI Djojohadikusumo Foundation (PR-HSD-ARSARI Foundation) to conduct rescue activities.

The Sumatran tigers comprise a female tiger called Bonita and a male tiger named Atan Bintang, the ministry noted in a press statement released on Monday.

Bonita was rescued from a plantation at Tanjung Simpang Village in Indragiri Hilir District on January 3, 2018, while Atan Bintan was rescued from a residential area in Burung Island also in the district on November 18, 2018.

"The conservation of (endangered) animals would be successful if all sides were to work together. The result of PVA (Population Viability Analysis) shows the population of Sumatran tigers in their natural habitat reaches only 603 found in 23 habitat enclaves," Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation of the Environment and Forestry Ministry Wiratno stated.

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Indonesia: Six Javanese porcupines released into Lake Buyan Natural Park

Antara 29 Jul 19;

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) - Six Javanese porcupines (Hystrix javanica) belonging to Bali Zoo in Gianyar District were released into the Lake Buyan-Lake Tamblingan Natural Park in Buleleng District, Bali.

During a series of events to commemorate Nature Conservation National Day on Sunday (July 28), a male and five female porcupines, aged between one and two years and weighing between five and six kilograms, were released into the Lake Buyan-Lake Tamblingan Natural Park in collaboration with Bali's Natural Resource Conservation Center.

"We hope that the released porcupine would breed well," Bali Zoo's spokesperson, Emma Kristina Chandra, remarked here, Monday.

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