Best of our wild blogs: 6 Sep 19

Changi Beach
Offshore Singapore

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100 hawksbill turtles released into the sea after rare hatching on Sentosa

JUSTIN ONG Today Online 4 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE — One hundred newly-hatched hawksbill turtles were released into the sea from Tanjong Beach in Sentosa on Wednesday morning (Sept 4). 

According to a Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) spokesperson, the eggs were hatched on Tuesday at approximately 10pm. SDC carried out measurements and checks on the hatchlings before they were released into the sea at about 7am on Wednesday. 

The hawksbill turtle nest was discovered at Tanjong Beach on July 14, said SDC.

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Accident with boar, chain collision cause jam in Mandai Road

Clement Yong Straits Times 5 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE - An accident with a wild boar and a separate chain collision involving four vehicles caused a major jam along Mandai Road on Thursday morning (Sept 5).

The accidents happened one after the other along the same stretch of Mandai Road towards the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) at 6.50am, causing traffic to slow for more than an hour during the peak period.

Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that the wild boar had been killed by an oncoming vehicle, and the motorist left the scene after the accident.

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FairPrice to charge for plastic bags, McDonald’s to stop providing plastic straws at some outlets

Clement Yong and Melissa Heng Straits Times 5 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE - Supermarket giant NTUC FairPrice and fast-food chain McDonald’s have jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon.

Both companies announced on Wednesday (Sept 4) that they will be trialling initiatives to cut down on plastic bags and plastic packaging.

NTUC FairPrice will start charging 10 cents and 20 cents for plastic bags at seven outlets in a month-long trial, starting from Sept 16.

The "No Plastic Bag" trial will encourage shoppers to use their own bags, FairPrice said in a statement on Wednesday.

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MPs question Government’s stand on single-use plastics as Parliament passes new sustainability Bill

Ang Hwee Min and Aqil Haziq Mahmud Channel NewsAsia 4 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE: The issue of single-use plastics was discussed in Parliament on Wednesday (Sep 4), with some Members of Parliament (MP) reiterating a call for plastic bag charges.

This came as MPs debated the Resource Sustainability Bill, which was passed on Wednesday.

The Bill introduces regulations to reduce food, packaging and electronic waste, as Singapore’s only landfill at Pulau Semakau is expected to run out of space by 2035.

It will be mandatory for large food waste generators to segregate and treat their food waste by 2021.

Producers of regulated electrical and electronic products will be responsible for collecting and recycling e-waste like mobile phones, computers and large appliances through an extended "producer responsibility" framework that will be launched by 2021.

A similar framework for packaging waste will also be introduced. Companies that use packaging, like importers and supermarkets, will be required to submit an annual report on the amount of packaging in their products and their packaging waste reduction plans from 2021.

MPs lauded the Bill as a step in the right direction, but some felt that more could be done to tackle the excessive use of single-use plastics.

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BCA's green building innovation grant gets S$20 million top-up

Kelly Wong Channel NewsAsia 4 Sep 19;

SINGAPORE: The built environment sector received a S$20 million boost to go green on Wednesday (Sep 4).

This was announced by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong at the opening of the inaugural International Built Environment Week (IBEW), organised by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Mr Wong said that the top-up of the funds will encourage more collaboration between the built environment industry and the research community. This is to support BCA’s drive toward Super Low Energy (SLE) buildings, which BCA has said will be the “next generation of green buildings".

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Malaysia: Elephants losing its tusks to live

Roy Goh New Straits Times 5 Sep 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Elephants in Sabah are evolving to lose their tusks to survive, a phenomenon that is also happening in other parts of the world.

Sightings of such tusk-less bull Bornean pygmy elephants are getting more common and a senior veterinarian believes more research needs to be done on the phenomenon and its implications.

Sabah Wildlife department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said it used to be rare, seeing a tusk-less male, but these days it's becoming common.

"I have been involved in trans-locating elephants for more than 20 years and other senior colleagues dealt with the animal longer, more than 30 years, and now, we see this phenomenon becoming more common.

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Malaysia: Rare Bornean banteng falling victim to traps

KRISTY INUS The Star 5 Sep 19;

KOTA KINABALU: The banteng, the wild cattle of Borneo, are not just being poached but increasingly turning up as bycatch in snares set for other animals, say conservation groups.

In a joint statement, the Sabah Wildlife Department and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) said the population of the animal, estimated to number fewer than 500 in the state, was already facing fragmentation due to deforestation, infrastructure development and human activity.

“Besides being targeted for bush meat, the mammal has often become a bycatch in snares meant for smaller animals like wild boar and deer,” said DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens yesterday.

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Malaysia: Illegal wildlife trade rampant here


PETALING JAYA: From urban centres to deep jungles, the illegal wildlife trade is a multimillion-ringgit business spread across the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

It leaves a trail of cruelty starting from the forest – to the longhouses, markets in cities and towns, to certain “pet shops” and then onwards to the homes of the well-heeled, both within and out of Malaysia.

Some of these rare wildlife are endangered and protected under the law, and the most popular animals include macaques, hornbills, rare parrots, colourful birds, rare reptiles, baby sunbears, deer, tortoises, leopard cats and so on.

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Malaysia: Melaka grappling with invasion of Indonesian wild pigs

R.S.N.MURALI The Star 5 Sep 19;

MELAKA: On top of the problem of immigrants making their way illegally into Melaka via the strait, the state is currently facing another trans-boundary issue – the invasion of wild boars from Indonesia.

Melaka Agriculture, Agro-Based, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Committee chairman Norhizam Hassan Baktee said wild boars were excellent swimmers, but the state never expected them to cross the narrow Strait of Malacca from Sumatera in search of new habitats here.

“The sea-borne invasion of wild boars leaves us in despair as the animal population is increasing in Melaka.

“The mystical island of Pulau Besar here has witnessed widespread damage from the ‘migration' of dozens of these wild boars, including piglets, ” he said on Thursday (Sept 5).

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Malaysia: Penang expected to be hit by prolonged hazy conditions

N. TRISHA The Star 5 Sep 19;

Stifling situation: Motorists driving on the Penang Bridge that is barely visible.

GEORGE TOWN: The public have been told to wear masks while outdoors as the state is expected to be hit by prolonged hazy conditions.

The advice came from state environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh.

“The haze is here to stay as we are approaching the inter-monsoon period before the north-east monsoon starts in October.

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Indonesia: Satellite imagery suggests 949 hotspots in West Kalimantan

Antara 4 Sep 19;

Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The LAPAN satellite image data showed 949 hotspots were spotted in West Kalimantan on Sept 3-4, 2019, a notable surge, from 15 hotspots on Sept 2-3, according to the Supadio-Pontianak meteorology station.

Of the total, 433 hotspots were found in Ketapang District, 123 in Sintang, 102 in Sanggau, 87 in Sekadau, 61 in North Kayong, 49 in Landak, 41 in Melawi, 29 in Kubu Raya, 14 in Bengkayang, six in Kapuas Hulu and Sambas, Erika Mardiyanti, head of the meteorology station, stated here on Wednesday.

West Kalimantan Deputy Governor Ria Norsan noted that the provincial administration had issued Government Regulation No. 39 of 2019 on Prevention and Mitigation of Forest Fires to curtail slash and burn practices.

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