Join NUS Toddycats to battle marine trash at Sungei Loyang mangrove on Sat 12 Oct 2019: 3.30pm

As part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup Singapore zone captains Joleen Chan & Joys Tan are organising a cleanup at Sungei Loyang mangrove, located at the eastern end of Pasir Ris Park, on Sat 12th Oct, 3.30pm – 6.00pm.

Trash has accumulated since the last cleanup in 2016 and we will need some rugged help to tackle the burden on this small but lovely mangrove. You must have covered, hard-soled shoes or booties to join us.

If you wish to join us, please register at Eventbrite.

Sungei Loyang mangrove
“Work is a four letter word” series were introduced to the trash problem
at Sungei Loyang (watch from 26:00 here)

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

Join us on our briskwalk? Please register your participation at the Eventbrite webpage, thanks!

In 2008, a 9-km series of trails, bridges and walkways were unveiled, which reconnected the Southern Ridges which had been carved through by several roads (see map). An almost continuous traffic-free walk from NUS to HarbourFront became possible which takes two hours at a brisk pace.

This is an excellent way to get in some exercise at the end of a tough week, amidst a unique landscape and greenery. Hard pressed to find the time? Join NUS Toddycats on five walks from YIH Plaza through to Hort Park and HarbourFront MRT on the following dates:

  1. Fri 6 Sep 2019 (we end at Hort Park; ~5km)
  2. Fri 27 Sep 2019 (we end at Harbourfront MRT; ~8km)
  3. Fri 18 Oct 2019 (we end at Hort Park; ~5km)
  4. Fri 8 Nov 2019 (we end at Hort Park; ~5km)
  5. Fri 15 Nov 2019 (we end at Harbourfront MRT; ~8km)

Please register your participation at the Eventbrite webpage – pick the correct date and register for that individually.

You may leave the group at any time. Some of the typical stop points along the way include:

  • 2.0km, 22 mins – Science Park 1 (Kent Ridge MRT Station)
  • 4.0km, 51 mins – Reflections at Bukit Chandu (near Pasir Panjang MRT Station)
  • 5.3km, 1h 12mins – Hort Park (near Labrador Park MRT Station)
  • 6.2km, 1h 22mins – Henderson Waves (near Telok Blangah) – Bus Stop no. 14051 & 14059
  • 8.8km, 2h 5mins – HarbourFront (near MRT Station)

Your NUS Toddycats guides will be Kenneth Pinto, Xu Weiting, Airani S, Joleen Chan & N. Sivasothi (aka Otterman).

If there is threat of heavy rain, strong winds prior to a storm or haze, we will inform you via Eventbrite or if its too late, at YIH Plaza itself.

 

Click to view the larger map
Southern Ridges Walk

Ubin Day 2019 – bringing focus to marine biodiversity and the threat of marine trash!

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Sat 29 June 2019 – Crowds flowed into Pulau Ubin for Ubin Day as volunteers and staff tirelessly put up booths to showcase the brilliant diversity of nature and heritage found on Pulau Ubin. Toddycats put up our booth on marine biodiversity, highlighting the key issue of marine debris affecting them.

This year Otterman intern Natalie Quah coordinated our lovely ICCS Otters, site captains Elizabeth Lim, Tan Chia Wu, Chong Siew Men, Olivia Lee and Elsa Lillford valiantly stepped up to volunteer at our booth, together with Toddycats volunteer Delia Quek. Special thanks also to Tina Liow who helped with transporting all the specimens to Ubin, which saw a traumatic break of our old dugong specimen jar (all fixed, no fear)!

Guests for Ubin Day this year included many families, visitors, participants of Pedal Ubin and of course our regular visitor and chair of the Friends of Ubin Network, Minister Desmond Lee.

Volunteers say the shark specimen was the conversation starter about marine life which still persists in our waters. That we have turtles surprises people, especially that they are still beaching on our shores to lay eggs. Then they are concerned. to learn about about the dangers of marine trash in our waters.

It was a great day of community fun and learning and we were happy to be there! Until next year!

Our shift 1 volunteers! Still smiling after setting up in the wee hours of the morning on Ubin! From left: Chong Siew Men, Elizabeth Lim, Tan Chia Wu
Minister Desmond Lee playing our iconic game to match each marine animal to its habitat!
Chia Wu was great with kids that day, bringing specimens around the assembly area to attract them to our booth! Hurrah!
Finally, it was time to tear down. From left: Elsa Lillford, Natalie Quah, Delia Quek, Olivia Lim

Love Our MacRitchie Forest – raising public awareness about our forest heritage

Ever since the Land Transport Authority announced the proposed construction of the Cross Inland Line tunnel under the Central Catchment Nature Reserve in 2013, Toddycats have been working hard to raise awareness about our forest heritage and their plant and animal communities, under the umbrella of the Love Our MacRitchie project.

Alongside the ecosystem introduction, participants are engaged about the conservation issues. There are two phases of the EIA for the project and we are awaiting the results of the Phase 2 EIA which we hope to examine and provide feedback about. 

Meanwhile, every month, our volunteer guides take members of the public on a Love MacRitchie Walk at Windsor Nature Park at the north-eastern corner of MaxRitchie to share with them the amazing wildlife which has survived in this forest, which are threatened by developments such as the Cross Inland Line. So far this year, we have conducted eight walks, reaching out to 121 participants.

We also partnered other youth groups in Singapore – the Herpetological Society of Singapore (HSS) conducted a Herp Walk for us in March and the Entomological Network of Singapore (ENSING) did the honours with an Insect Walk in April. And we were happy to offer the Biodiversity Friends Forum (BFF) a field trip in May. We were glad to see these youth go on to share their knowledge with their friends and families.

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Taking shelter under a giant mahang leaf on a Love MacRitchie Walk.

We also bring the wonders of the forest to urban Singapore – on 1st and 2nd June, we engaged the public with a booth at the Central Public Library as part of a Biodiversity Carnival, where we showcased specimens of forest creatures from NUS’ Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

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Showcasing museum specimens at Central Public Library’s Biodiversity Carnival

In August, published an infographic highlighting most of the key events since the start of the movement in 2013. To date, the decision on the CRL alignment has not yet been made. This will be a decision by the government at the highest levels.  The Toddycats will continue to conduct monthly guided walks and encourage the public to voice their feedback about the CRL to the authorities.

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colugoA pair of colugos observed in May 2015.

 

While we await announcement of the second phase EIA, there are more walks to attend in 2019. Join NUS Toddycats! at Venus Loop – to do so, visit Eventbrite at this link (http://toddycats-lmwalks.eventbrite.com) to register for the walk:

  1. Sun 08 Sep 2019
  2. Sat 12 Oct 2019
  3. Sun 10 Nov 2019
  4. Sat 7 Dec 2019

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The Shelter Pawject @ The Animal Lodge – join us on World Animal Day in October

TSP logoThe idea for The Shelter Pawject was seeded in 2017, with an aim to improve the physical and emotional well-being of animals living in shelters. It is led by four of us who are passionate about animal welfare, Joys & Grace Tan, Ong Say Lin and Amanda Tan, with N. Sivasothi aka Otterman.

Recognising a need from previous visits and a discussion with shelter managers, we pledged a commitment to cleaning and maintaining the shelter environment through quarterly visits. In 2017 and 2018, The Shelter Pawject worked with Uncle Khoe’s K9 and Paw Perfect Love shelters for basic cleaning, feeding and dog-walking. The cleaning was vigorous work and we called them scrub downs! It was good to see every corner gradually become spick and span!

 

TDP hello

With the shift of local animal shelters to The Animal Lodge at Sungei Tengah in 2019, shelters such as UK9 and PPL shelters now come under the good care of Mutts and Mittens and scrubdowns were no longer needed.

After consultation and exploration, The Shelter Pawject identified the BFF shelter (@bffrescuedogs) as a priority to provide play time and company, and basic maintenance of cleanliness for the shelter animals who are deprived of social contact. We hoped to increase the awareness of animal shelters through bringing people to the shelters, as well as contribute to the shelters. 

 This year, The Shelter Pawject has conducted two trips with 33 volunteers. It’s always happy to meet like-minded individuals who are looking to contribute! We are also grateful to the regulars (James, Jeanette and others) who have been supporting the animals.

If you are also looking to contribute, please join us in October, in celebration of World Animal Day. Do refer to our Facebook page for updates on upcoming trips – https://www.facebook.com/theshelterpawject/.

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TSP dogwalk

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A celebration of Toddycats at the Festival of Biodiversity 2019

25 & 26 May 2019 – Festival of Biodiversity (FOB) is Toddycats’ main outreach event and this year was a return to action! NParks had secured the FOB2019 venue at Toa Payoh Hub, and we knew to expect a large crowd over the  two days. Indeed NParks would later report that an estimated of 25,000 people visited the Festival which featured 22 booths, 19 workshops and 46 partners over the two days. 

In addition to our usual booths on biodiversity, Toddycats included our International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) project this year. Collectively we showcased the rich terrestrial, coastal and marine biodiversity to be found Singapore. Toddycats’ volunteers had trained through walks and workshops prior to the festival, also shared with the public the threats faced by wildlife in Singapore, and the everyday action we can take to make our environment a more liveable place for all living organisms.

If you missed out on the action, view the  photos here.

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Over the course of the two days, you might have met some of our awesome 40+ volunteers who were at the two-day event – Amanda Lek, Beatriz Fernandez, Benjamin Chew, Catalina Tong, Cherry Goh Pei Shan, Chong Siew Men Choo Le Min, David Yeo, Elizabeth (Liz) Lim, Emily Ng Qi Ying, Erin Tan Hie, Ho Lijean, Jharyathri Thiagarajah, Julianne Thu Kwa Kee Lang, Liew Fui Lian, Ling Chyuan Liang Benedict, Magena Yeo, Miguel Loh Wai Tong, Nicole Lai Yun-Ki, Olivia Tay, Ong Yue Qi Quek Yew Hock, Samuel Chan, Spencer Yau, Tan Tee Kheng, Tang Li Hua, Toh Meng Hai Victor, Xu Rui Hua Jeff, Yee Zhi Wei Daniel Rebekah Susserott, Nafisah Md Ismail, Marcus Tay Guan Hock, Charlene Goh, Xinlei, Srishti Arora, Sherilyn Wong Jo-Yin, Olivia Lee, Kang Li Xin Sim Hong Jhun, Yu Chew Peng, Phoebe Lim Zhixuan, Joelle Lai, Fung Tze Kwan, Joleen Chan, Theresa Su and Xu Weiting

Special thanks to our volunteers and let’s do this again next year at FOB2020!

 

Do you have a passion for nature and the environment? Join NUS Toddycats!

Dear students,

Do you have a passion for nature and the environment?

NUS Toddycats, which dates back to 1999, is meant to “expose, develop, enthuse and apply individuals to programmes in conservation, education and research.”

The programme is designed to be fuss free, so Toddycats volunteer on an event basis, involving 1-2 days of training and execution.

To join us, sign up at https://toddycats.wordpress.com/join/

Open House on Sat 24 Aug 2019: 9.00am – 11.30am
@ NUS Lab 7 (S2-03)

We welcome you to find out more an open house session where you get to chat with seniors and learn about what we do what we do and what programmes we are involved with, which include: Exhibitions | Nature and heritage trails | Public seminars and Symposia |Webpages & Blogs |Partnerships and feedback| Coastal Cleanups

Sign up as a member and join us at HOWL,
Mon 26 Aug 2019: 6.30pm

Our next event is a get-together called HOWL (at the Moon!) on Monday 26th Aug 2019: 6.30pm – if keen, do register by Fri 23 Aug 2019 at http://tinyurl.com/toddycats-howl25

Cheerio!

Sivasothi aka Otterman
Battling the Sixth Extinction 

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