Best of our wild blogs: 3 Sep 19

Seeking Singaporean Youth Voices on Biodiversity!
Psychedelic Nature

Ridge Walk – five Friday evening briskwalks along the Southern Ridges (Sep – Nov 2019)

Labrador shore still alive
wild shores of singapore

The Fruit Feeders
Butterflies of Singapore

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Explainer: How 2 proposed tunnelling routes for Cross Island Line will affect wildlife, housing areas

KENNETH CHENG Today Online 2 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE — The authorities are inviting public feedback on two proposed construction choices for the future Cross Island Line. 

This is after the second stage of a report assessing the environmental impact of building Singapore’s eighth MRT line was gazetted on Monday (Sept 2). Gazetting allows public inspection of the report and feedback on its findings.

The Cross Island Line — which is set to run from Changi to Jurong and is expected to be opened in 2029 with 12 stations first — can either run directly under the Central Catchment Nature Reserve or go around it. It would take a longer route and be more costly to build if it skirts around the reserve.

However, both are feasible options when done with comprehensive mitigating measures and monitoring plans, the latest environmental-impact assessment found.

How will it affect the nature reserve or residents living around the train line? Here is a rundown of the key points to note.

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Pandan Reservoir midge outbreak: Residents liken it to a 'horror movie', says Member of Parliament

TESSA OH Today Online 2 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE — Residents living around the Pandan Reservoir said that the recent outbreak of midges in the area is like being “in a horror movie”, Member of Parliament (MP) Foo Mee Har said on Monday (Sept 2).

Describing it as the “most severe” outbreak that residents have witnessed, Ms Foo, MP for the West Coast Group Representative Constituency (GRC), added that the midges stick to clothes and hair, and residents have found swarms of them in corridors, lifts, bus stops and in their homes.

Responding to questions from three MPs, including Ms Foo, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said that the sudden spike in midge activity can be attributed to the recent spell of unusually hot weather, which has hastened the growth process of the midges.

“With climate change, we will experience more extreme weather, which will have a corresponding response from nature,” he said.

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Commentary: Climate action is our generation’s 1965

Winning our climate war is a moral and economic imperative. The green lining is that the new climate economy being birthed creates good jobs while saving our world, says CEO of PhilanthropyWorks Vivian Claire Liew.
Vivian Claire Liew Channel NewsAsia 1 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong this National Day Rally publicly acknowledged climate change as an existential threat to Singapore – and aced it.

He unflinchingly positioned the threat dead-centre in the Singaporean psyche – and mentioned housing price risks in the East Coast and waterfront areas. Yet, he also managed to sound upbeat and forward-looking.

This marks the defining moment for Singapore’s climate war. It is a clarion call for us to understand the climate impact reverberating through our society, economy and geopolitics. Singapore’s Total Defence strategy surely welcomes its missing seventh pillar.


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56% increase in vegetation fires in first half of 2019: Shanmugam

Today Online 2 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE: There were 555 vegetation fires in Singapore in the first half of this year, a 56 per cent increase from the 356 cases in the same period last year, said Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam on Monday (Sep 2).

Mr Shanmugam was responding to a question submitted in Parliament by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leon Perera, who had asked what measures were being taken to ensure the early detection of vegetation fires and the efficient deployment of resources to handle them.

In his written reply, Mr Shanmugam noted that the number of vegetation fires has risen in recent years due to factors such as drier and hotter weather.

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Malaysia: Hype about orang utan’s release but not his return

MUGUNTAN VANAR The Star 2 Sep 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Animal rights activists are calling for more transparency by the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation centre, especially over its silence with the high-profile release of the orang utan named Tiger at the Tabin wildlife reserve late last year.

Friends of the Orangutans Malaysia director Upreshpal Singh said it was clear that Tiger was unable to go back to its natural home and was brought back to the Sepilok rehabilitation centre.

“We are aware that it is now in Sepilok but its management continues to use videos of its release back to the wild as a success story to tourists visiting the internationally famed rehabilitation centre.

“The use of such video portraying Tiger’s release may not be the appropriate representation, ” he said, adding that it was important for Sepilok authorities to explain what happened to Tiger, which was rescued as a baby 17 years ago.

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Malaysia: Divers remove ghost nets, rescue bamboo shark off Malohom bay

Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 2 Sep 19;

KOTA KINABALU: The threat posed by ‘ghost nets’ — fishing nets discarded or lost in the sea — to marine life forms was evident recently when a dive and recreation team from Gayana Marine Resort discovered two bamboo sharks battling for their lives in the surrounding waters off Malohom bay here.

The team managed to rescue one shark, but could not save the other.

The resort was conducting a cleanup operation following the discovery of ghost nets in the surrounding waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP).

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Malaysia: Sarawak Forestry rescues protected parrots from China 'fortune tellers', lodges police report

The Star 2 Sep 19;

MIRI: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has lodged a police report against a group of fortune tellers from China who abused protected wildlife in their so-called "fortune-telling" business in Miri.

SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said his enforcement unit had also rescued two protected parrots being abused by these foreign traders.

"SFC officers raided the exhibition and rescued the two birds.

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Indonesia: Some 70 percent damage caused to South Kalimantan's mangrove forest

Antara 31 Aug 19;

Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Some 70 percent of the 116,824 hectares of mangrove forest in South Kalimantan's coastal area have incurred destruction.

"The existence of mangrove forest in South Kalimantan is under threat. Care and concrete actions are deemed necessary to preserve the mangroves," Dean of the Faculty of Fishery and Marine of the University of Lambung Mangkurat (ULM) Pahmi Ansyari noted in a statement, Saturday.

Apt actions, including the planting of mangrove seedlings, are deemed necessary for restoration of the mangrove forest ecosystem. Mangrove is beneficial for the environment and crucial to preventing abrasion.

"As part of the concrete action demonstrating our care for mangrove forest preservation, we will organize a one thousand mangrove tree planting event dubbed 'Action for Mangrove (BUM),'" Phami Ansyari, an expert in aquaculture, stated.

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Indonesia: 16 sub-districts in N Sulawesi brace for drought

Antara 2 Sep 19;

Manado, North Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Sixteen sub-districts in eight districts and municipalities in North Sulawesi have braced for drought during the current severe dry season, according to Muhamad Candra Buana, spokesman of the North Minahasa climatology station.

The eight districts and municipalities were Manado, Bitung, Bolaang Mongondow, North Bolaang Mongondow, East Bolaang Mongondow, Southeast Minahasa, North Minahasa, and Sitaro Islands, he said here on Monday.

In Bitung, severe dry spell affected the sub-districts of Aertembaga, North Lembeh and Matuari. In Manado, the drought-hit sub-districts were Mapanget, Malalayang and Bunaken. In Bolaang Mongondow, Bolaang and North Dumoga sub-distr4icts were hit by extreme dry season.

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