Author Archives: otterman

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

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


Sivasothi aka Otterman
Battling the Sixth Extinction 



Pedal Ubin 2019 accomplished with great joy and satisfaction!

Sat 29 Jun 2019 – The annual Pedal Ubin offering at Pesta Ubin activates veteran Toddycats guides to revisit and revise, and form guiding pairs to manage 15-20 participants on the island each. 

We prepare with recces, review and mitigate the risk to participants, update our first aid kits, and be sure to carry strong insect repellent for the vulnerable. Thanks to Joelle, Airani, Ivan, Kenneth and Kevin for that reliable preparation and confident execution, and the photos!

This year, we were short on support so my kaki Cheer Chong at Republic Polytechnic recruited three of her outdoor adventure learning students to provide safety backup for the nature guides. And Sufi, Yu Teng & Jin Huang were really superb! They slipped into their roles effortlessly and were a great comfort to all. We must get DOAL students help next year too! Learn more about RP’s Diploma in Outdoor Adventure and Learning programme (DOAL) here.

We happily guided some 60 people this year; photos from the event on Google Photos here. Wish we could do this every weekend! 

Pedal Ubin 2019

Pedal Ubin is back this year on Sat 29 Jun 2019 – and registration is open!

NUSPestaUbin2019 Toddycats roll out our annual cycling event to explore nature and heritage in Pulau Ubin.  Register for Pedal Ubin at our Eventbrite page here! (Update: we’re full)

Every year, we offer a guided bicycle ride through part of Pulau Ubin, during which our guides introduce participants to stories of Ubin – nature, heritage and geography. The guides have been conducting this for many years, as Pedal Ubin origins go back to  a 1998 Ubin Challenge event. At one point the rides were offered every two months.

The events at Chek Jawa in 2001/2 led to many more Singaporeans visiting Pulau Ubin with visitorship numbers rising from ~27,000 to more than 35,000 in 2007 (figure from NParks). As NParks took over more of the island, there were clear signs and maps to guide the visitor so we closed the programme, and left an online list of suggestions

Then good news came with the conservation of Pulau Ubin for all to enjoy and the formation of Friends of Ubin. Without the threat of further development, Pesta Ubin was initiated by Ria Tan with other stakeholders. NUS Toddycats chipped in to the celebrations by reviving Pedal Ubin.

This ride of fellowship is an enjoyable way to meet others and share a unique experience of the island through the simple joy of cycling!

This year’s Pesta Ubin theme is “Support Ubin Businesses” and by taking a bumboat, renting a bicycle and purchasing food and drinks, participants will help support and preserve the unique businesses that service visitors to Pulau Ubin. There are many more activities being offered this month of Pesta Ubin so check out the very well organised webpage to explore more opportunities.

Pedal Ubin 2018


  • Registration page for Pedal Ubin 2019 [link]
  • 2018 Pedal Ubin photo album [link]
  • Map of Pulau Ubin, ver 2015 [link]
  • Pesta Ubin 2019 [link]

Discover your natural heritage at a Love MacRitchie walk, Jan – Jun 2019

In 2013, a shocking announcement was issued by LTA about the proposed Cross Island MRT Line. This proposal to tunnel under the precious and fragile MacRitchie Forest ecosystem was met by nature groups in various ways.

Decal love macritchie 20133
The Love MacRitchie campaign began in 2013 with the unprecedented announcement of the Cross Island Line through the nature reserve.

One of those responses was the Love MacRitchie movement, a collective effort by several nature groups in Singapore who share the uniqueness and value of our heritage which is the MacRitchie Forest.

In addition to talks about the issue, education of students and engagement with the media, members of the group also offer guided nature walks at MacRitchie.

Join our nurturing guides on a walk to discover your heritage, understand why we have a love for such spaces, and lend your voice to save MacRitchie from this and future threats.

The walks, which began in 2013, have continued to the present time, even as the investigation and debate on the alignment of the Cross Island Line continues. Find out more during the Love MacRitchie walks in the first half of 2019 by visiting the Love Maritchie Eventbrite page to register.

  • 13 Jan – Venus Loop with NUS Toddycats!
  • 9 Feb – Venus Loop with NUS Toddycats!
  • 10 Mar – Venus Loop with NUS Toddycats!
  • 23 Mar – Ranger Station with Herpetological Society of Singapore
  • 13 Apr – Venus Loop with NUS Toddycats!
  • 5 May – Venus Loop with NUS Toddycats!
  • 8 Jun – Venus Loop with NUS Toddycats!
A colugo mum and her baby gaze at Love MacRitchie
walk participants. May they be ever safe.

Marine Life and the threat of Marine Life @ NUS SAVE’s NUS Goes Lite 2019: Go BYOnd!

NUS Toddycats are at U Town Plaza in NUS these two days (14 & 15 Feb 2019), to feature Marine Life and the Threat of Marine Trash with a road show, thanks to NUS SAVE. Visit the roadshow and meet all the partners, internal and external the they have lined up!

At NUS Goes Lite 2019: Go BYOnd!, organised by Students Against Violation of the Earth (SAVE), learn about SAVE’s upcoming green initiatives, learn how you can go beyond BYO, and check out what the NUS student environmental community (and beyond) have been up to!

Toddycats were all setup and ready before the lunch time crowd!
President of NUS, Prof Tan Eng Chye and his guests touring the roadshow
finding out more about plastic pollution and its impact on marine life.
Drawn in by the specimens of marine fauna, visitors then learn of the threats
they face in the ocean from trash, ironically of mainly terrestrial origins.

Internship with NUS Toddycats, Dec 2018 – Jul 2019

Internship with NUS Toddycats

Toddycats Logo Sep 2016

About the Toddycats NUS Toddycats are volunteers with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore. We expose, develop and apply individuals who are keen to contribute to nature and the environment in Singapore to programmes in conservation, education and outreach. This is an immediate means to contribute socially and meaningfully towards the nature and environment in Singapore.

NUS Toddycats are an entirely volunteer group who lead and support activities such as nature guiding at exhibitions and field sites, the organisation and management of public seminars and symposia, coordinate coastal cleanups and initiate dialogues and other engagement through active partnerships.

Objectives The NUS Toddycats Internship aims to secure a motivated intern who will organise and coordinate support for the diversity of activities offered by the group. In doing so, the intern will be exposed to and acquire skills and work experience in a range of activities including administration and digital organising tools, project and events management, volunteer engagement, and communication for conservation. The intern will also participate in staffing the coordinator at various working groups and stakeholder engagements.

Scope of Internship The NUS Toddycats intern will pro-actively support operational and volunteer management needs of the coordinator and project managers with existing projects which include volunteer recruitment and engagement, nature guiding at field sites, roadshows and seminars, field surveys and coastal cleanups, and liasing and planning for Toddycats participation in various events and stakeholder meetings. For some idea of the projects, see the Toddycats “About” page.

Candidate Criteria The candidate must be passionate about learning through service. We are looking for candidates who possess strong initiative and good work ethic, are able to work across multiple platforms (e.g. Google Docs, Microsoft Office, social media), are able to undertake tasks independently amidst a group structure and communicate effectively. Some of these skills can be developed, but a strong desire to learn and a passion for the environment are critical!

It is crucial the internship is the sole commitment of the intern during this period.

Internship development NUS Toddycats is committed to the development of the selected intern through skills training in project management, digital tools and a workplace readiness toolbox, volunteer engagement and understanding the conservation landscape.

Period of internship Dec 2018 or Jan 2019 – July 2019 (minimum of three months) This is an unpaid internship but a meal and transport allowance is provided.

Reporting Officer The NUS Toddycats intern will report directly to the coordinator, N. Sivasothi and will liase with project captains for specific roles.

To apply, please write to with your CV.

Sun 24 Jun 2018: Pedal Ubin 2018 @ Pesta Ubin – explore Pulau Ubin and “The Ubin Way” with NUS Toddycats

Pedal Ubin returns for for Pesta Ubin 2018!

Pedal Ubin is a programme by NUS Toddycats dating back to 1999 and is pleased to be a participating member of Pesta Ubin, which is organised by the Friends of Ubin Network (FUN).

Join us for a ride around Pulau Ubin to explore the Island’s landmarks and scenery with NUS Toddycats volunteer guides from the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, NUS. The ride is free of charge but you must read the details on the registration page and register on the Eventbrite page at

We will cycle past old plantations, kampongs, forest, quarries and mangroves, stopping for a coconut or two, whilst listening to guides share stories of Ubin’s wildlife, heritage and ongoing conservation efforts. In keeping with the Ubin Way, at some point, we will sit down and get to know each other!

You must be able to ride a bike and be at least 10 years old in order to keep up with the pace. Even if it is a slow ride, there are slopes and dirt trails to enjoy.

Participants must arrange to rent their own bicycles (and you are encouraged to rent a helmet too) on Pulau Ubin or bring their own bicycles from the mainland.

More important details on the registration page.

Pedal Ubin 2017