Last year was a crazy time – just after the massive International Coastal Cleanup Singapore 2011, we ran the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium III a week later! Since then, instead of licking our wounds, Raffles Museum Toddycats have been moderately active.
Our events have included:
- Yishun Pond rejuvenated! Sat 12 Nov 2011
- Sungei Buloh Anniversary Walk, Sun 04 Dec 2011
- Wild Carnivores exhibition at the Geylang East Public Library, Sat 10 Dec 2012
- Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk, Sun 12 Feb 2012
- Year-Round Coastal Cleanup @ Tanah Merah, 11 Feb 2012
- World Water Celebrations, Sat 24 Mar 2012
The Sungei Buloh and Battle Anniversary Walk were conducted with my veteran buddies so we just turn up and perform, while I coordinate. The Year-Round cleanup was the effort of a very special recruitment exercise and was the first of a new programme we were really happy to announce.
Meanwhile, the revival in the public exhibition sessions has been possible due to the efforts of Xu Weiting and Fung Tze Kwan, my honours students from the past two years. During their studies of the common palm civet, (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), they recognised the need to engage in public education. So they gradually took on the exhibition manager role for the Raffles Museum Toddycats.
With Civetgirls Fung Tze Kwan and Xu Weiting at
World Water Day celebrations, 24 Mar 2012
It is not easy work as all of us have tight schedules, but we are all in NUS and so we meet at odd hours and work through email and Google Docs and are restoring the public education exhibition programme of the Raffles Museum Toddycats. What keeps them going is sharing the joy of nature in Singapore with members of the public.
Many new faces!
Meanwhile, new volunteers have joined the fold and we have been pleased to welcome them with open arms! It was great to see them in action at Lor Halus Wetland. What they experienced was just a warm up – there will be even more action in coming months, and with lots of kids and families expected at these events:
- Earth Day Coastal Cleanup @ Tanah Merah, Sat 28 Apr 2012
- Raffles Museum Open House for International Museum Day, Sat 19 May 2012
- The inaugural Festival of Biodiversity @ Singapore Botanic Gardens, Sat/Sun 26-27 May 2012
Toddycats have traditionally been too hardworking so we want to ensure we have some relaxing sessions just for them to look forward to. Amongst the many proposals we have received so far are:
- Night walk at Holland woods led by Chung Yi Fei
- “Behind the scenes” interviews at Conference Room II
- Movies nights from the archives of the department
- Introduction to civets of Siglap by Xu Weiting and Fung Tze Kwan
- Pulau Ubin explorations on bicycle by former Pedal Ubin guides
- Bukit Brown discovery by Jocelyne Sze
- Mandai mangrove and mudflat discovery by N. Sivasothi
- North East Riverine Loop slack bicycle ride
Our outreach efforts take us far and wide – as the year progresses, however, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research will be inventorising and packing for that big move to the new Lee Khong Chian Natural History Museum building in 2014. Many hands will be needed for all sorts of interesting work and I look forward to seeing Toddycats work closely with the museum itself for once!
Joelle Lai, herself a veteran Toddycat, and now staff of the Raffles Museum, has begun coordinating with Weiting and Tze Kwan to ensure we all help volunteers find their passion!
There are exciting times ahead in the battle against the sixth extinction, and we welcome you to join us on our journey!
Joelle showing her juniors how to manage
mangrove mud during her undergrad years