22 March 2010

Faunaweb - a sneak peek at NPark's new site!

Although it doesn't appear (yet) on the NParks homepage, we can already have a look at the brand new FaunaWeb site!
How wonderful to see this resource highlighting the astonishing diversity of animals in Singapore!

And not just terrestrial animals, but marine and shorelife too!
There's many wonderful ways to navigate this site and virtually explore Singapore's many creatures! You can check out your favourite animal groups. Or find out what kinds of animals can be found in the wide variety of ecosystems and habitats in Singapore. Or look at our endangered and rare animals.
Warm furry animals are a big favourite, and Singapore has lots of them. OK, the dugong is not furry but it is a mammal and is quite cute. (Hopefully, the web people can fix the problem with the thumbnail squishing up the photos of the animals.)
Some of us are fascinated by our cool and slithery animals.
But of course the most numerous life on the planet lack backbones, so it is fitting that the invertebrates are also featured!
How nice that marine life is also widely featured! From everyone's favourite crustaceans...
... to sea stars and their relatives...
And even lots of corals!
My favourite though, is the 'featured animal' snippets on the homepage. If you refresh the page, you will get different features. I cheat and display what I saw here...

There's a great feature on the elusive Leopard cat!
The fascinating Oriental pied hornbill. There's also a video clip about the breeding project, on the NParks main homepage.
Our insects are not forgotten!
With a feature also on a dragonfly.
And how wonderful to see a feature on this rare sea star!
Faunaweb will be a great resource for those wanting to learn more about our fauna!

Indeed, the resource "has been created to cater to the growing interest in wildlife in this, our City in a Garden. This animal database aims to be a source of reference for all who are interested in animals, ranging from beginners and students to keen enthusiasts and professionals in the field. Based on information from key reference works, including the Singapore Red Data Book, the content in NParks FaunaWeb is both pictorial and factual, with information provided in point form as well as more expanded text. This website will be updated regularly to include a wider range of terrestrial, freshwater and marine animals, as well as to provide more biological information and photographs."

Of course, all along, NParks has had Floraweb.
FloraWeb has a more horticultural emphasis as it "was created to cater to the growing horticultural awareness and interest amongst people in Singapore in acquiring more information on plants. This plant database aims to be the source of reference for all who are interested in horticulture and landscaping - ranging from novice gardeners and students to keen enthusiasts and professionals in the field."

Nevertheless there are navigation groupings for those interested in our wild plants: see the last series of links.
This page also has featured plants, with some features on our wild plants.
There's MORE biodiversity goodies on the NParks website!

The Biodiversity segment is a great resource for species check lists. Click on the "Species List" for a drop down menu of check lists for mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, freshwater fishes and butterflies.

You can also learn about troubling issues such as Invasive Alien Species.

On a happier note, find out more about our National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) which guides biodiversity conservation in Singapore. With more about some of NParks' initiatives in biodiversity conservation. These include
  • Bird Banding Programme In Pulau Ubin
  • Banded Leaf Monkey Conservation
  • Butterfly Garden at HortPark
  • Biodiversity and Distribution of Intertidal Sponges in Singapore Waters
  • Creating Butterfly-Friendly Habitats
  • Creating Dragonfly Habitats
  • Coral Nursery
  • Coral Reef Surveys
  • Dipterocarp Arboretum at Yishun Park
  • Forests of Giants
  • Hornbill Conservation Project
  • Rescuing A Rare Dragonfly
  • Seagrass Monitoring
  • Seahorse Monitoring Project
  • Singapore Red Data Book 2008
  • The Singing Forest
Can an ordinary person help out in these initiatives? Yes! Volunteers from the public help out with Coral Reef Surveys conducted with the Blue Water Volunteers. And in Seagrass Monitoring with TeamSeagrass. NParks volunteers also help out in some of the other initiatives.

One of the key NBSAP strategies and action is enhancing education and awareness. And volunteers are much needed in supporting these efforts. Here's more about NParks' volunteer programme and how you CAN make a difference.

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