Best of our wild blogs: 3 Aug 19

Fish Expedition Day 3 - Changi and more!
wild shores of singapore

Night Walk Along Island Country Club Road (02 Aug 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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Commentary: Tigers belong in the wild, not in our homes, the streets or farms

Tigers are at risk of extinction. We need to start taking tiger conservation seriously, says Vilma D’Rozario.
Vilma D'Rozario Channel NewsAsia 3 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE: Some things are not meant to go together, like peanut butter on pizza or papaya trees in Antarctica.

Last month, our screens brought us the sight of another strange combination: Two tigers walking down a road in Terengganu, Malaysia.

On Jul 18, Terengganu Wildlife and National Parks Department caught one of the roaming tigers, who unfortunately died just days later due to a canine distemper virus. The whereabouts of the other remain unknown.

Some have speculated that the tigers might have been pets, due to their seeming lack of instinctual predator behaviour in the village that they strolled through.

We don’t know for sure why the tigers were roaming the streets, but regardless, tigers are supposed to be treading forest trails, not walking along paved roads meant for tires and cars with racing stripes.

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Haze risk could last for months caused by very dry conditions, Met Service warns

Today Online 2 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE — The threat of occasional haze in Singapore could last for months owing to very dry conditions in the region caused by a weather event called the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said on Friday (Aug 2).

The MSS said Singapore recorded its driest July on record, with the weather station at Changi recording 92 per cent less rain than the long-term average — and beating the previous record for the driest July set in 1997. It was also Singapore’s second-warmest July on record.

“Since early July 2019, dry weather has been persisting over southern Sumatra and Kalimantan. Drier weather can be expected in the next three months (August to October), with monthly rainfall of up to 60 per cent below average,” said the MSS.

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Malaysia: Three states yet to gazette water catchment areas

The Star 3 Aug 19;

PETALING JAYA: Three states – Johor, Perak and Penang have yet to gazette their forest reserve water catchment areas, says the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry.The ministry pointed out that the catchment areas for the three states totalled 139, 290 acres (56, 370ha).

The National Land Council chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic) has asked for these state governments to take immediate action.

“The reason for gazetting is to preserve the source of water and the nation’s forest from being encroached upon and turned into development areas.

“It is a concern that these areas will be affected by development, which could undermine our forests and waters, ” it said in a statement.

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Malaysia: Breeder boosts horseshoe crab population

REMAR NORDIN The Star 3 Aug 19;

Brisk business: Khairul showing a fully mature horseshoe crab at Sedili Kechil Horseshoe Crab Farm and Hatchery in Kota Tinggi.

JOHOR BARU: Ahmad Mustafa used to sell horseshoe crabs for a living, a job he inherited from his father – until he noticed a decline in the population of the species.

But he did not give up. After eight years of tireless effort to save the population of the crustacean, he has successfully transformed himself from a wholesaler into a breeder.

The 52-year-old, who became a horseshoe crab wholesaler 30 years ago, is now entrusted by the government with running Sedili Kechil Horseshoe Crab Farm and Hatchery in Kota Tinggi here.

Built on his house, the hatchery was started after Ahmad noticed a decline in his haul.

“That prompted me to start my own makeshift hatchery by collecting eggs from female horseshoe crabs.

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Malaysia: 'Time ripe to restart haze talks with Indonesia'

Veena Babulal, Adib Povera New Straits Times 3 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: The time is ripe to revive transboundary haze talks with Indonesia.

Sustainability expert Dr Mohd Yusoff Ishak said this was because the last agreement was ratified by Indonesia in 2014, more than 12 years after the republic signed the treaty on transboundary haze.

“Since the Asean Agreement on the Transboundary Haze Pollution was inked in 2002, and the 2015 tripartite talks (between Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia) fell through, there have been no catastrophic haze incidences like that of 1997 or 2015, and the need to address the issue has fallen by the wayside.

“Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should start the ball rolling for Asean by talking to (Indonesian President) Joko Widodo in a bid to review and update the treaty,” said the senior lecturer from Universiti Putra Malaysia.

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Malaysia: 'Schools can close immediately if API reach very unhealthy level'

Adib Povera, Veena Babulal New Straits Times 3 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: Schools in areas which register unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) of more than 100 have been reminded to restrict outdoor activities, said Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said if the API reading reached a very unhealthy level of 200, school administrations were allowed to close schools immediately without the Education Ministry’s permission.

“The standard operating procedure has been established,” she told the New Straits Times.

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Indonesia: BMKG confirms 85 hotspots detected across Sumatra Island

Antara 2 Aug 19;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Pekanbaru Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) detected 85 hotspots, indicating potential occurrences of bush and forest fires, in several parts of Sumatra Island on Friday morning.

On Friday morning, 54 hotspots were spotted in Riau Province, but this figure had decreased significantly, from 126 hotspots on Thursday, the agency's head, Sukisno, noted.

The hotspots were also detected in the provinces of Aceh, Jambi, Lampung, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, and Bangka Belitung, he informed attendants of a meeting held to discuss measures to mitigate land and forest fires in Riau. Related news: Pekanbaru shrouded in haze from forest fire

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