Love MacRitchie Walk on Sat 7th Dec 2019 – registration is open!

The free monthly Love MacRitchie Walk for members of the public is now open for registration here on Evenbrite. It will be held on Sat 7th December 2019 at Windsor Nature Park. 

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Green-crested Lizard (Photo by Liang Lei)

Find out more about the Love MacRitchie walks at https://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/love-macritchie-walks/.

Sungei Buloh Anniversary Walk on Sun 8th Dec 2019 – registration open

Since 1997, NUS Toddycats (and our predecessor The Habitat Group) have celebrated the anniversary of Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve by conducting a free guided for the public. We do this to express our appreciation for this precious place which was officially opened on 6th December 1993.

This year we have 60 places for the walk on Sunday, 8th December 2019. Register now at Eventbrite. We look forward to some fellowship in this lovely setting once again. 4162515175 10071d886d k

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Toddycats supports Singapore’s first Climate Rally, a call for urgent climate action

Toddycats went down to Hong Lim Park on 21 Sep 2019 Sat, 3.00 – 6.00pm to show support to Singapore’s First Climate Rally, organised by youths to call on the government and industries to take on more drastic climate action. The rally is also timed to be a part of the worldwide climate strikes, started by climate activist, Greta Thunberg.

Once emerging from the MRT station, I realised it wasn’t just a few people gathering. There were so many others who also shared the same sentiments that more could be done in Singapore and we have to take climate action now. It was really heartening to see that people of all ages (not only the youths) viewed the climate crisis seriously enough to come down to Hong Lim Park on a hazy Saturday afternoon to be a part of this rally.

Participants were asked to come in red as it signified that current situation of our climate
After entering the area, we were all ready to listen to the speeches.

There were six speeches given by Lad Komal Bhupendra, Karen Sim, Ellen Wu, N. Sivasothi, Oliver Chua and Ho Xiang Tian. All of them delivered speeches with fire and passion. Each of the speakers shared their sentiments, and also included systemic solutions which were pitched to various levels of society, industries and the government to adopt.

The climate rally might be the first, but it wouldn’t be the last time you hear people asking for action to be done. The chance to reverse climate crisis is getting smaller and smaller. Now is the time to make big changes for the climate. The climate actions need to happen at all levels of society and fast. We don’t want the climate crisis to become a climate disaster, do we?

 

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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