Friday, July 20, 2012

DENSO Youth for Earth Action


For the last 3 days, I have been involved with DENSO Youth for Earth Action (DYEA), an international programme to support youths in Japan and ASEAN who are passionate about doing something for the environment in their home countries.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Visiting the ACRES Rescue Centre


To recognise the contributions and efforts of its supporters, the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) organised a get-together at its headquarters at Jalan Lekar. I had a great time chatting with friends and other like-minded individuals who are concerned about animal welfare, and was glad to finally get the chance to visit the Wildlife Rescue Centre, which was opened in 2009.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hello from Singapore! (@HellofrmSG)

If you've been spending time on Twitter lately, you might have seen the rise of a new phenomenon known as rotation curation, in which a Twitter account sees a change in the person tweeting (or the curator) on a regular basis (usually weekly).

Monday, July 2, 2012

Raccoons in Singapore? Mistaken identity, and the local trade in exotic small mammals

Which one is native to Singapore?
(Left: Photo by kwokwai76)
(Right: Photo by flipkeat)

It's a running gag among nature enthusiasts in Singapore that many members of the public are ignorant of our own wildlife, and that even common native species are bound to get confused with species not found locally. As a result, our monitor lizards become "Komodo dragons" or "iguanas", agamid lizards are "chameleons", sunbirds are mistaken for "hummingbirds", egrets and herons are "cranes" or "storks", our otters are "sea otters", and these are the most obvious errors we've heard of so far.

It is saddening that many people seem to be more familiar with wildlife found in other parts of the world. Perhaps it's because of the prevalence of wildlife documentaries focusing on ecosystems and species found on other continents, or the infusion of American pop culture. Faced with a small, vaguely cat-like mammal in their gardens or on their rooftops, with a dark eye-mask, it's not surprising that some local residents think that they have seen a common raccoon (Procyon lotor), when in fact this is a species native only to North and Central America. In most cases, any reports of "raccoons" in Singapore are likely to be misidentified common palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).

STOMPer's plea to park users: Please throw your litter into rubbish bins

STOMPer's plea to park users: Please throw your litter into rubbish bins

The Serangoon stork

Mouth of Sungei Serangoon, which has since been dammed up to create the Serangoon Reservoir;
(Photo by Food Trails)

Hello from SG (@HellofrmSG), Singapore's very own rotation curation project on Twitter, has just been launched, and our very first curator is journalist and history buff Eisen Teo (@eisen).

As part of his self-introduction, Eisen shared the etymology of the name of his neighbourhood, Serangoon:

(Note: an alternative explanation is provided in the 27th March 1950 edition of The Straits Times)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rhythm with Nature @ Gardens by the Bay


The Gardens by the Bay are finally open, and apparently saw more than 70,000 visitors over the first 2 days of its opening. I was part of that crowd on Saturday evening, as I had managed to win a pair of free tickets to catch local singer-songwriter Corrinne May, who was performing as part of Rhythm With Nature. Thanks Timberland Singapore for the tickets (and the shoes), which I had won as part of their Earthkeepers 101 blogging contest.