About NUS Toddycats!

About the name – NUS Toddycats!  are volunteers with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore. The name comes from the common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), the last wild carnivore in terrestrial urbanised Singapore.

The logo of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (1999–2014) was that of a toddy cat on a palm leaf and the significance of this is explained here.  With the change of the museum name in 2014, the name of this volunteer group was changed from Raffles Museum Toddycats! to NUS Toddycats! Read more about our origins and public education strategy in this 2005 article “Toddycats! – the birth of the Raffles Museum Volunteers“.

The original toddycat drawing on the museum logo was based on an abandoned common palm civet kitten which was rescued from ants at an army camp and brought in to the then Department of Zoology in 1996. A few of us cared for the animal and gave this civet the name “Toddy”. Tragically he was killed by a dog.

About the programme – Toddycats! is meant to expose, develop, enthuse and apply individuals to programmes in conservation, education and research. The programme, originally conceived in 1999, meant to contribute towards capacity building of undergraduates in NUS, to provide them with an immediate means to contribute socially and meaningfully towards the greater good of nature and the environment in Singapore. The programme is now open to anyone who can fit our schedule, in the recognition of the diversity of people who would like to contrite and that all you need is enthusiasm and commitment!

The Toddycats! engage in public education through:

  1. Exhibitions – we introduce the layman to Singapore’s existing wildlife at public exhibitions using specimens from the Raffles Museum. On special occasions, we conduct guided tours at the Raffles Museum’s Public Gallery.
  2. Nature and heritage trails – these introduce the layman to natural history and heritage through guided walks (or rides) at Pulau Ubin, Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve and the Southern Ridges.
  3. Public seminars and symposia– we share exciting tales about Singapore’s biodiversity and heritage through informed, current and energetic presentations.
  4. Webpages & Blogs – to provide information resources online for all to use.
  5. Active partnerships with other groups, agencies and institutions on programmes, events and national strategies and action plans that achieve common goals.
  6. Coastal Cleanups – we coordinate the annual International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and Year-Round Coastal Cleanups.

To learn more, see our Programmes page.

Project Captains

  • Love MacRitchie – Chloe Tan & Rachel Lee
  • Pasir Panjang Heritage – Kenneth Pinto, Airani S
  • International Coastal Cleanup Singapore – Airani S & the ICCS Zone Captains
  • Pedal Ubin – Joelle Lai
  • Ridge Walk – Kenneth Pinto, Xu Weiting, Airani S
  • Festival of Biodiversity – Xu Weiting & Theresa Su
  • HOWL – Theresa Su & Lesley Chng (previously Ong Say Lin)
  • Photos – Kenneth Pinto
  • Coordinator – N. Sivasothi
  • The Shelter Pawject – Joys Tan, Ong Say Lin, Amanda Tan, Grace Tan

National Representation

Toddycats contribute to the following:

Biodiversity Roundtable of Singapore

  • Secretariat & meetings – Airani S, Xu Weiting, Fung Tze Kwan & Adriane Lee, David Tan, Marcus Chua, N. Sivasothi
  • Biodiversity Friends Forum (BFF) – Xu Weiting, Fung Tze Kwan, Marcus Chua, N. Sivasothi

Working Groups

  • Otter Working Group Singapore – Adriane Lee, N. Sivasothi
  • Long Tailed Macaque Working Group – Joys Tan, N. Sivasothi
  • Urban Wildlife Working Group – Xu Weiting, N. Sivasothi
  • Freshwater Crab Working Group Singapore – N. Sivasothi
  • Banded Leaf Monkey Working Group – Joys Tan, N. Sivasothi
  • Marine Turtle Working Group Singapore – N. Sivasothi

Friends of Parks

  • Friends of Pulau Ubin – Joelle Lai, N. Sivasothi
  • Friends of Sisters Island Marine Park – Adriane Lee
  • Friends of Sungei Buloh – Adriane Lee
  • Friends of Rail Corridor – Fung Tze Kwan & David Tan
  • Friends of Bukit Timah – Alvin Wong
  • Friends of Chestnut Nature Park – Airani S, N. Sivasothi

Technical Groups

  • Nature Reserves Scientific Advisory Committee – Marcus Chua, N. Sivasothi
  • Mandai Rainfore Safari Park Stakeholder Meetings – Joelle Lai, Marcus Chua, Airani S, N. Sivasothi
  • Cross Island Line Working Group – Marcus Chua, N. Sivasothi