09 April 2010

16 Apr (Fri): A series of talks "Zoological Explorations in Singapore"

An evening dedicated to conserving Singapore's biodiversity! In celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity 2010, presented by the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore.
Here's a summary of the talks from the Department of Biological Sciences website.

Is there Hope For Saving The Banded Leaf Monkey In Singapore?
Andie Huifang Ang is studying the critically endangered Banded Leaf Monkey (Presbytis femoralis) for her Masters Research project. In her presentation she will show some videos and give an update on her project that is assessing the population size, distribution, diet and social behavior of this highly elusive species. Without this knowledge it will be difficult to conserve the banded leaf monkey in Singapore.

Andie's work is featured in Rare Singapore monkey species in better shape than thought Study finds number of banded leaf monkeys 3 times greater than previously believed, by Victoria Vaughan, Straits Times 10 Apr 10;

Midnight Secrets of Pulau Ubin - Mouse Deer and Other Medium Sized Mammals on Pulau Ubin, Singapore
Marcus Chua is studying the diversity and distribution of medium-sized mammals in the forests of Pulau Ubin using systematic overnight surveys and camera traps. This species was previously thought to be extinct in Singapore. The mouse deer population's behaviour and distribution has raised hope for co-existence between man and wildlife for Pulau Ubin. In addition to mouse deer, the survey revealed populations of wild boar, common palm civets, and the legendary 'Cow of Ubin'!

Marcus' work is featured in Greater Mouse Deer sighted in Pulau Ubin Animal thought to be extinct in Singapore spotted for first time in 80 years by Ang Yiying, Straits Times 26 Mar 09. More posts about his previous talk, and about his paper.

Johnson's Freshwater Crab a National Treasure in Peril
Chua Yi Teng is studying Irmengardia johnsonii, a rare freshwater crab for her Honours project. Six Southeast Asian species of freshwater crabs survive in the forest fragments of Singapore, three of which are Singapore's special responsibility to the planet as they are not found anywhere else - Johora singaporensis, Irmengardia johnsoni and Parathelphusa reticulata! Little is known about their biology. She shares her study of the population density and habitat of Irmengardia johnsonii in order to contribute critical baseline ecological data which will help with the management and conservation of this crab in Singapore.

More about our freshwater crabs on Freshwater crabs face extinction Threats to their habitats worldwide, including here, are killing off species by Amresh Gunasingham, Straits Times 8 Aug 09;

Stalking Fruit bandits: The Common Palm Civet ('Toddycat') in Siglap
Xu Weiting is studying the Common Palm Civet or 'Toddycat' (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), Singapore's last wild carnivore in urban areas. She has spent many nights in Siglap tracking the civets, interviewing residents, and laying camera traps in order to determine the home range of the animals that travel on a highway of drains and telephone wires between forest patches and urban gardens in pursuit of the rich banquet of fruits in the estate. The project addresses the co-existence and conflict with man - an inevitable outcome of decreasing forests and increasing urbanisation all over Southeast Asia. She hopes to raise public awareness and encourage the celebration of this little understood species.

More about Weiting's work on The great 'musang' stakeout The aim: To observe the Toddy Cat's population size and habits, by Ang Yiying, Straits Times 30 Nov 09;

Programme for the evening

5:00 pm - Introduction and talk by Prof. Tommy Koh, Guest of Honor
Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Special Adviser of the Institute of Policy Studies and the National Heritage Board

5:15 pm - Conservation Projects on Flagship Species in Singapore (Student Talks)

  • Is there Hope For Saving The Banded Leaf Monkey In Singapore??
  • Midnight Secrets of Pulau Ubin - Greater Mouse Deer on Pulau Ubin, Singapore
  • Johnson's Freshwater Crab - a National Treasure in Peril
  • Stalking Fruit bandits: The Common Palm Civet ('Toddycat') in Siglap
6:15pm - Summary and Outlook by Prof. Peter Ng

6:30pm - Refreshment

The event is free but registration is required: online registration.

Time: 5-7pm
Venue: Lim Seng Tjoe Lecture Theatre (LT27), Lower Kent Ridge Road, National University of Singapore
Website: http://www.dbs.nus.edu.sg/events/2010/public_lecture.html

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