Category Archives: HOWL

HOWL 17: 18 May 2017, 6:30 pm @ LKCNHM Learning Lab

Hosted by: Ong Say Lin & Theresa Su

It was a night of makan, fellowship, updates and fun as Toddycats held their first HOWL in 2017.

This time, we were joined by fresh HOWLers: representatives from ELSA (Environmental Law Students Association),  volunteer guides for the Festival of Biodiversity, and Dr Vilma D’Rozario’s students from the National Institute of Education.

IMG_2972 (1)

Toddycats and friends makan and mingle before HOWL17

To get to know each other, we had a new icebreaker this HOWL, which is the BINGO game. It was a fast-paced game to get acquainted quickly, but alas, some groups were so enthusiastic and completed the BINGO sheet without even introducing themselves!

The highlight of this session was the sharing by Dr Vilma D’Rozario, from Cicada Tree Eco-Place. Returning from studies overseas, Vilma was transformed by hee discovery of the beauty in our local natural heritage. This led to roles as an advocate and educator for nature in Singapore and over the years, she realised she was proud to be known as an activist to protect the little we have left. It was an inspiring lesson on how much can be achieved by learning about and speaking up for nature!

The Toddycats updates which were announced during this HOWL include:

  1. The 2017 Toddycats Organising Committee
  2. The Otterman intern: Tina Liow
  3. Festival of Biodiversity 2017
  4. The Shelter Pawject
  5. International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
  6. Love Our MacRitchie Forest
  7. RVRC Wildlife Rescue & Campus Creatures
    • Helmed by Sankar and Lesley

Updates by friends of Toddycats:

This year, Toddycats plan to have more regular HOWL sessions to meet up for makan, discuss current issues and of course, provide updates on our various working groups. Stay tuned for the next HOWL before semester starts!


HOWL 16 (BTNR Special): 12 Oct 2016, 7 pm @ LKCNHM


  1. Tales from the Gardens – Review and feedback on Festival of Biodiversity 2016
  2. Keeping the coast clear – Stories from ICCS 2016
  3. Past, Present & Future of BTNR
  4. AOB

HOWL at the Moon 12 – A Gathering of Toddycats!

Although the moon was only in its Waning Crescent phase, the time was nigh for the Toddycats to gather and HOWL! So, on the 16th of February, 40 Toddycats came together to catch up, meet new people and get updated on the latest happenings.

Chaired by Joelle and Alvin, HOWL 12 started off with everyone’s favourite – food! Everyone gathered outside the DBS Conference Room for a bite (or many bites) of pizza before starting HOWL proper with a happy stomach. New faces were introduced and everyone (old and new) swiftly warmed up to each other!

Toddycats were updated on recent events by the interns including the revival of the Kent Ridge Heritage Walks (Sankar), Himalayan Mutt Project (Lynn), as well as the upcoming World Water Day Coastal Clean up (Becky).

Sumita gave us a wonderful report on Ubin Day in 2014 and shared with us the tears and laughter of being a WILD Intern who enthusiastically helped lay the foundations for Ubin Day!

We had updates from Chloe Tan on the Love MacRitchie Walks, again reminding us about the importance of MacRitchie and how precious our forest patches are. We don’t mind walking a bit more if the Cross Island Line can be realigned to avoid the fragile forest! This brought about a discussion on ways to engage the public without bringing them to nature parks, a topic we should always keep in mind!

Following Chloe’s report, Weiting gave us a very detailed splendid report on the Bukit Timah closure; showing us the importance of the Bukit Timah closure and its impact on the various group of people. Weiting’s report further shows the importance of social media in disseminating information – the power of Facebook!

Finally, with Joelle keeping a close watch on the time, we ended off a joyous HOWL with the formation of BOSS 4 sub-committees! A major event happening this July, do keep an eye out for our FOURTH Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium!

All photos of HOWL can be found in our flickr album!


Engaging youth through NUS Toddycats, volunteers with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, as part of SG50 celebrations.

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).


Joelle Lai & Sivasothi

Howl at the Moon 6 with Subaraj Rajathurai and Tony O’Dempsey!

Howl at the Moon (HOWL) are special sessions for our hard working Toddycats members only to engage in frank discussions privately to better understand the motivation behind our events and to analyse the mechanisms and strategies behind our activities.

HOWL also provides us a chance to meet and hear from friends in the natural history community – this year Kathy Xu (The Dorsal Effect), Amanda Tan (The Long Tails), and Faizah Jamal (NMP) and Joseph Chun (environment lawyer) have all taken the time to share with us, which has been a highly educational experience,

2013 09 26 Toddycats Howl in ALR

Our sixth session of HOWL on 25 Sep 2013 was a particularly inspirational one as two highly experienced conservationists in Singapore, Subaraj Rajathurai  (wildlife consultant) and Tony O’Dempsey (GIS expert) shared with us highlights from Singapore’s conservation scene.

Subaraj began with the “State of Conservation in Singapore”, recounting decades of conservation work with fascinating scenes which have disappeared from Singapore’s landscape, some sad stories but also many happy ones. As he talked it was clear some of us had not even been born yet as he first set out on his journey of natural history on Singapore. It helped explain the context of some of the issues we encounter today.

Tony’s presentation, “Advocacy for a Rigorous Nature Conservation Policy for Government Agencies” promoted a discussion and questions about post and current policies. It was a engaging way to learn about the realities of conservation in Singapore.


The value of the Green Heart inside the Red Dot [ Tony O’Dempsey]

That evening, Toddycats learned a lot about conservation in Singapore through the years, issues with conservation management, current and future pressures on the Nature Reserves, the state of conservation policies and the importance of public engagement.

We are even more motivated to spread the word about our precious biodiversity and take a more active role for the forest which survives in our fragile Nature Reserves.


Current and future pressure on CCNR [Tony O’Dempsey]

Several Toddycats have since stepped up to be youth advocates for the Love our MacRitchie Forest campaign. We want to help raise public awareness about the precious heritage we have in our forests – something which might escape the busy and increasingly urbanised Singaporean.

We look forward to the opportunity to help fellow Singaporeans discover a place of heritage and joy right here in the midst of our bustling city., something which future generations should have as well.

Since the talk we have been contributing in a few ways:

See you at our walks and at HOWL!