Tue 18 Apr 2017: 7.00pm @ NUS RVRC – Amanda Tan on “10 years to tool use with the sea monkeys of Thailand”

NUS Toddycats & Ridge View Residential College, NUS present:

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“10 years to tool use with the sea monkeys of Thailand”

By Amanda Tan

Tuesday, 18th April 2017: 7.00pm
Seminar Room, Level 1
Ridge View Residential College
National University of Singapore

All are welcome [click to register]

About the talk:

Dr Amanda Tan recently graduated with her PhD in which she studied tool use by long-tailed macaques in Thailand. She shares the research about these monkeys this past decade by primatologist Michael Gumert and collaborators at NTU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences and her own most recent work in shedding insight on the fascinating behaviour of these long-tailed macaque inhabitants of small Thai islands.

Stone-tool use, previously only identified by scientists in chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys, has been explored by the team over the past decade in Burmese long-tailed macaques. She is an excellent public speaker who chroncles a decade of research in an approachable but scientific manner for a general audience.

Amanda who graduated from NUS Psychology and fulfilled a life-long passion of understanding animals by joining Gumert Lab to pursue her PhD in primate behaviour, is now about to embark on post-doctoral studies in the US. Just recently back from Thailand, we are glad to have share her insights just before she leaves!

The common palm civet is NUS’ Campus in a Rainforest: Species of the Month, Jan 2017!

In 2017, NUS Students Against Violation of the Earth (SAVE) and the Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) announced they would continue their Campus In a Tropical Rainforest “Species of the Month” initiative which communicates interesting facts about biodiversity in the NUS campus. they kick started the 2017 series with the mostly nocturnal fruit-eating common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) .

The LKCNHM’s predecessor, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, unveiled a logo in 2001 of the common palm civet on a palm leaf, as a symbolic representation of the museum’s education mission – to raise awareness about wildlife and plants in Singapore. At the time, few in Singapore were aware of this adaptable creature’s presence in urban environments. And the volunteer group of the museum was named Toddycats!

After more than a decade of effort invested in education and awareness by volunteers in the nature community, civets are better known but not well enough. It is thus heartening to see this animal featured at species of the month. It was only in the recent decade that civets had spotted around NUS’ campus. Staff and students reported sightings in the greenery at Eusoff and Temasek Halls, we observed an individual at Kent Ridge where vegetation was allowed to persist, and most recently, an individual left signs of its presence at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) garden, much to the delight of the staff there!

Enjoy the thought of free-roaming civets in our campus and keep your eyes peeled!



The Kent Ridge Heritage Trail – a decade-old map to explore the ridge with!

Kent Ridge has always been an area of great academic interest and experience and in NUS has been the focus of nature and heritage walks, academic research, student learning as well as walks and runs for health and fitness. Most recently, a briskwalk series was introduced to promote fitness of staff welded behind their desks, and for us to relax with one another on Friday evenings.

In January 2007, the map for the Kent Ridge Heritage “Walk and Run” Trail was finalised after months of work with contributions from various stakeholders of Kent Ridge in and out of NUS. The Kent Ridge Heritage Trail is mapped by signboards at various locations from Clementi Road to Bukit Chandu, and we hope this 10-year old map will encourage you to explore the area! Click to download the pdf.

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To find out more about the area, visit the Pasir Panjang/Kent Ridge Heritage webpage.

Join us as a Toddycats volunteer at Festival of Biodiversity 2017!

19264266751_f72272bb20_kHave a treasure-trove of nature-related stories but not sure who to share them with? Come join the NUS Toddycats at the Festival of Biodiversity 2017! This annual event aims to create awareness and promote efforts in conserving and enhancing our local biodiversity. Check out various recounts of past years’ Festival of Biodiversity events!

Where: NEX Serangoon

When: 27–28 May 2017

Not sure if you have enough stories to tell? Fret not. There will be two training sessions this year (volunteers need only to attend one) to equip volunteers with nature tales on the specimens on display this year.

In addition, volunteers with NUS Toddycats this year will have a chance to embark on not one, but TWO nature walks for an immersive experience in our natural habitats before we gear up for FOB 2017!

If you have a passion for our natural heritage, and want to lend a voice to our local biodiversity, sign up here: tinyurl.com/fob-volunteer2017.


Sat 01 April 2017: 7.30am – Join us for a very muddy World Water Day mangrove cleanup @ Lim Chu Kang!

Join NUS Toddycats for the third year-round coastal cleanup at Lim Chu Kang. We are determined to clear this area of marine debris and plan to get muddy as we venture deeper into the mangrove this time. Working alongside us on the beach will be volunteers from NUS SAVE.

Transport is provided for 40 people (be sure to choose the right ticket), read all the details (itinerary, safety, site details) at the Eventbirite registration page.

Ridge Walk – a series of five Friday evening briskwalks along the Southern Ridges

Dear friends,

In 2008, a 9-km series of trails, bridges and walkways were unveiled – these 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 and 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. Get to know various points along the Southern Ridges and plan your future visits. But it all starts with a walk and we are hard pressed to find the time.

To get you going, NUS Toddycats, in conjunction with Ridge View Residential College are leading a series of brisk walks for NUS staff, students and friends from YIH Plaza through to HarbourFront MRT on the following dates:

  1. Fri 24 Mar 2017
  2. Fri 28 Apr 2017
  3. Fri 19 May 2017
  4. Fri 30 Jun 2017
  5. Fri 28 Jul 2017

If you struggle to keep up initially, you can peel off at any time. Several popular stop points along the way are:

  1. 2.0km, 22 mins – Science Park 1 (Kent Ridge MRT Station); [route]
  2. 4.0km, 51 mins – Reflections at Bukit Chandu (near Pasir Panjang MRT Station) [route]
  3. 5.3km, 1h 12mins – Alexandra Arch (near Labrador Park MRT Station); [route]
  4. 6.2km, 1h 22mins – Henderson Waves (near Telok Blangah) – Bus Stop no. 14051 & 14059; [route]
  5. 8.8km, 2h 5mins – HarbourFront (near MRT Station); [route]

Your guides frm NUS Toddycats will be Kenneth Pinto, Xu Weiting, Airani S & N. Sivasothi.

If there is threat of heavy rain, strong winds prior to a storm or haze, we will cancel the walk and inform you by email.

Register here!

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Scrubdown! Our first 2017 shelter visit to Uncle Khoe’s K9 & Paw Perfect Love Shelter

Sun 19 Feb 2017 – The Shelter Pawject made the first of four trips to Uncle Khoe’s K9 & Paw Perfect Love shelters. The team of 20 volunteers were armed with cleaning supplies, logistics and home-cooked food, and ready for a good workout!

Many pairs of hands make quick work indeed – in just three hours, hard scrubbing removed algae and moss off the floor and furniture, old cabinets were replaced, and shelter dogs were fed with nutritious home-cooked food. Everyone put heard and soul into the scrub down to ensure a healthy though small environment for the resident dogs. And three volunteers (Robina, Xinlei & Jing) decided to become walkers for the cooped up canines.

Thanks to everyone who made our trip a success – all the volunteers for the hard work and effort, Jane for sponsoring the logistics (2 metal cabinets, 120L dustbin & gogovan) and Say Lin for sponsoring the photoshoot. Also, thanks to the shelters for having us!

Not forgetting our fur pals (Nokia, Baby Girl, Bella and all) – we filled your bowls but you filled our hearts. See you all soon! 🙂

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By Grace & Joys Tan