Author Archives: otterman

Toddycats HOWL 9: the museum, our logo, endemic crabs, Singapore flowering, otters and a song

With the full moon on Saturday, it was time to arrange for a HOWL session. So much is going on which should be shared with Toddycats, and we called for a pow-wow on Wed 26 Feb 2014.

And we were sure glad we did – twenty-two Toddycats listened to and discussed a slew of topics. And most importantly, everyone explained about how we should move forward in relation to our focus and identity. And in subtle but also firm ways, which was good to see.

Joelle did wrestle with some outreach figures before an impromptu discussion about where how our endemic freshwater crabs were distributed and how they might be coping during this very dry spell.

An extremely tired Adrian Loo who had surfaced from Gardens by the Bay explained in a very soothing manner about the very inclusive Singapore Flowering facebook page (just post pictures of flowering with location), and Otterman told a few stories, including the museum’s modern history and smooth-coated otters along our eastern shores.

When Chloe updated us about the Love MacRitchie project, we were reminded about the lovely four-minute Love MacRitchie video with its lovely tune and visuals. It does help us realise the extent of the fauna in this very precious forest patch which we have. The video highlights some treasures of this precious patch of forest and shares the wonders we could retain for the future, with a realignment of the Cross Island Line to avoid the fragile forest.

I don’t mind ta-king a longer ride on the MRT

For MacRitchie”

Do you?

Today Joelle chaired the session and bore the burden of time management to ensure we would vacate our lovely venue by 10pm. This is an exhausting job while we engage in one diversion after another, so we will share the responsibility in future! We did not complete the agenda (not unusual) and we’ll look forward to the rest of it during HOWL 10.

See you there!

Toddycats Coordinator Joelle had sole charing duties today
2014-02-26 20.53.29

Who and where, attendance by Amanda Tan
2014-02-26 20.53.39 HOWL 9

A brief history of the museum, with an emphasis on recent highlights
2014-02-26 20.54 HOWL 9 HIstory of Museum

Recent temperature trends and flowering – the motivation behind Singapore Flowering
20140226-AhBloo SG FLowering

Toddycats Howl 9 on Wed 26 Feb 2014: 7.00pm

Toddycats are meeting for HOWL 9 on Wed 26 Feb 2014 at 7.00pm
Do sign up to let us know you are coming as indicated by the mailing list notification.

The agenda includes the future of the museum and Toddycats, how effective outreach has been in 2013 (Joelle Lai), smooth-coated otters at GBB (Otterman), what and who is behind the Singapore Flowering fb project (Adrian Loo), how to report offences in nature reserves, updates from the Biodiversity Roundtable (Otterman) and Love MacRitchie project (Chloe Tan) and about a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia (Alvin Wong).

Cheerio!

Joelle Lai & Sivasothi

Toddycats’ MacRitchie forest walks in 2014

Join Raffles Museum Toddycats on their MacRitchie forest walks on in march and April 2014.
The walks are free and are an eye opener about our forest heritage!

Untitled

Sign up at http://tinyurl.com/lovemacritchiewalks-wait to be placed on our waiting list.  

 

Forest Walks in March 2014

  • Sat 01 Mar 2014 – Petai Trail (~4km; not suitable for children below 12).  We are full for this walk! Please see dates below for more slots :)
  • Sat 15 Mar 2014 – Venus Loop. Sign up at: Link (25 spaces only)  We are full for this walk too! Please sign up for slots on the remaining dates if you would like to join us. 
  • 29 Mar 2014 – Venus Loop. By Raffles Museum Toddycats. Sign up at: Link (25 spaces only)  We are full for this walk too! Please sign up for slots on the remaining dates if you would like to join us. 

Forest walk in April

  • 12 Apr 2014 – Venus Loop. By Raffles Museum Toddycats. Sign up at: Link (25 spaces only)  We are full for this walk!

LM Walks

Siltation at Venus Loop stream; feedback and action to prevent damage to nature reserves

Siltation meets a clear stream – a problem at Venus Loop stream was observed by Toddycats during a Love MacRitchie tour in November 2013.

venus-drive-stream-siltation_09_04-Nov-2013

See the video by Heng Pei Yan

Toddycats’ Love MacRitchie guide took Grace Chua to explain the concerns and she investigated and wrote it up as an article.

“Miss Chloe Tan, a 24-year-old volunteer with nature group Toddycats, which has been conducting guided nature walks, said she had first noticed silt in the Upper Thomson stream early last month. The stream is home to 12 species of native frogs, including several endangered ones, as well as fish and dragonflies, and siltation would affect these creatures, she said.”

See “Two firms fined for silt-filled water discharge,” by Grace Chua. The Straits Times, 21 Nov 2013.

This issue had been raised to NParks earlier by Nature Society (Singapore)’s Tony O’Dempsey and here we see PUB will take action. With an article about the issue in the press, it will help others realise they can help too.

Feedback from the ground to relevant government agencies is of critical importance. There are various problems in our already highly-impacted nature reserves which we discussed during the last HOWL. We can contribute to improving the situation by observing, reporting and following up on action, like Toddycats did here.

Good job everyone.

Love MacRitchie Walks for NUS – three 2-hour Saturday morning walks from 19 Oct 2013

The Love MacRitchie walks for NUS are two-hour Saturday morning walks conducted by Raffles Museum Toddycats for the NUS community. Enthusiastic guides will share with you stories about a variety of amazing plants and animals living in our precious forest heritage.

Register at: tinyurl.com/lovemacritchiewalks-nus

  • Dates: Saturdays 19 Oct | 26 Oct | 02 Nov 2013
  • Time: 8.30am – 11.30 am
  • Meeting Point: Venus Drive Carpark
    • (off Upper Thomson Road; map)
  • Route: Venus Loop Forest Trail
  • Maximum number of people per walk: 25
  • Attire: Covered walking shoes, preferably long pants
  • Bring: Water, insect repellent, cap/hat to protect you from the sun, poncho/umbrella in case of rain.
  • DO NOT CARRY PLASTIC BAGS to avoid attracting monkeys.
Love MacRitchie Walks for NUS

See also Thu 17 Oct 2013: 6.30pm @ NUS LT25 – “Forget not our Living Forest” – botanist Joseph Lai unveils an entourage of enthralling forest denizens!

The walks and talk are part of the Love Our MacRitchie Forest movement.
Find out more at: lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/love-macritchie-walks

Originally posted on Otterman Speaks…

“Forget not our Living Forest” – botanist Joseph Lai unveils an entourage of enthralling forest denizens! Thu 17 Oct 2013: 6.30pm @ NUS LT25

I am really pleased to present this talk to students and staff of NUS, and friends from all over Singapore. The naturalist who treads the forest frequently, often alone and always with patience and delight in the ambience will have its secrets gradually unveiled to them over time. A careful curation of stories and photos are sometimes shared with the public and we have stopped doing this frequently over time.

This is one such precious occasion – Joseph Lai has prepared a feast for our eyes with hundreds of colourful images and stories. A passionate and artistic speaker, immerse yourself in the wonder of this very special heritage we which we have left in Singapore still and prepare to be surprised.

Raffles Museum Toddycats & Cicada Tree Eco-Place are pleased to present this free public talk:

Joelai“Forget Not Our Living Forest” by Joseph Lai, botanist

Thu 17 Oct 2013: 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 25, Faculty of Science, NUS (map)
All are welcome,
please register at:
tinyurl.com/livingforest-17oct2013

About the talk

Timeless and priceless beyond imagination, our living forest lives and breathes for us, providing us with a green lung and enriching our lives with a vessel of flora and fauna that is so intricately diverse and rich. Forget Not Our Living Forest seeks to reconnect us with, and re-energise our appreciation for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, our natural heritage, set in the heart of our island.

Veteran botanist Joseph Lai will unravel the priceless denizens of the forest, carefully and painstakingly assembled from years of appreciative observations. Never before have you seen such an enthralling ensemble of forest denizens and feel the life of a living forest, uniquely near our doorstep in Singapore!

Mac21

Pangolin head5

Cyathea trichodesma

Heritiera elata1

Draco blkbeardedwings

Fungus

Halfbeak

Thanks to Joseph Lai for use of the images.

For more information, visit http://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/forget-not-our-living-forest-talks

Originally posted on Otterman Speaks…

Ready to tackle the Kranji East Mangrove coastal cleanup this Saturday?

Dear Toddycats and Independents,

Thank you for your patience in waiting for this email. Please read this carefully and write me immediately if you have any questions; thanks!

We meet at 7.40am this Saturday
This Saturday, we will be meeting at Kranji Reservoir Car Park A at 7.40am (map attached) to be briefed and suited up for the work. I appreciate very much that you are waking up early on a Saturday for this!

We expect to finish by 12.00pm.

ICCS Kranji East mangrove cleanup on Sat 21 Sep 2013

Transport
Transport is available from the following places/times:

  • 7.00am – Dover MRT (westward, same side as polytechnic)
  • 7.30am – Kranji MRT (bus stop adjacent to MRT)
  • 12.00pm – Bus leaves for Kranji and Clementi MRT

Please let me know to expect you here: http://tinyurl.com/iccs-kranjieast-pickup

No heroics during the cleanup!
Kranji East is a tough site with difficult and limited access. Do be guided by your site captains. We will work carefully, and at a slow and steady rate. And we will leave the heavy bulky items behind.

Who we work with
We are about 50 in number and we will work with:

  • FMC Technologies (20 volunteers)
  • Jurong Secondary School (40)
  • North Vista Secondary ODAC (35)

This is some 145 in all, a good balance between impact and effectiveness.

A hand with the trash!
We need to leave the trash near the road, so we will hire a pickup to transport trash bags from the Trash Collection Point (TCP) to the Trash Disposal Point (TDP; see map) – less back breaking work for us!

Be prepared!

  • Sleep early the night before and hydrate – for better performance, enjoyment of the morning and fewer mistakes.
  • Set your alarm to wake up on time – we can’t wait for latecomers
  • Have a decent breakfast – it will be a workout!

What to bring

  • Covered shoes with hard soles – hard-soled booties are fine.
  • Water bottle (more than one litre of water).
  • Hat and/or sun block.
  • Raincoat/ponco (we will carry on working in rain but stop for lightning or a heavy storm)
  • Towel in a bag – to wipe off any sand and mud off you.
  • Some water to wipe yourself down with, even with a water point in the vicinity.
  • A change of t-shirt is a great relief after the sweaty workout.
  • Pants to protect your legs from insect bites.
  • Water-proof your belongings.

Itinerary

  • 7.00am – Dover MRT
  • 7.30am – Kranji MRT
  • 7.40am – Meeting Point at Kranji Reservoir Car Park A
    • Briefing, safety, wet weather plan, insect repellent application
  • 8.00am – cleanup begins
  • 8.30am – Loading and Weighing teams begin work
  • 9.30am – Data collection ends – be responsive to Site Captains.
    • Data consolidation
    • Weighing at TCP until completed
    • Trash moved from TCP to TDP – vehicle assisted.
  • 11.00am – Cleanup ends; participants wipe down and wash up.
  • 12.00pm – We all leave – a bus from the carpark will leave from Kranji MRT and Clementi MRT.

We are looking forward to working with and being inspired by you. Have a restful week everyone!

Cheerio!

Sivasothi aka Otterman
with Joelle Lai (Organiser, Raffles Museum Toddycats) and Adriane Lee (Dy Zone Captain, North West Zone, ICCS)


Raffles Museum Toddycats
http://toddycats.rafflesmuseum.net/