30 July 2010

BeMUSE features Singapore's biodiversity!

The latest issue of BeMUSE Jul-Sep 10 has lots of articles about Singapore's biodiversity!
From the Banded leaf monkey, to Singapore's awesome mangroves, and more about the early history of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) with an interview with the current RMBR director Prof Peter Ng.

In "Learning through Looking: The Natural History Collection of the Former Raffles Library and Museum" by Clement Onn, Asian Civilisations Museum, we learn more about the early history of the current Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research. Sharing stories about the early collectors, the personalities of these collectors, how and why some specimens were collected, the author also looks into the history of collection in general and examines the importance of a natural history collection today.
There is also an interesting timeline of the Museum.
In "Living Treasures in the Treetops: A fresh look at Singapore's Banded leaf monkeys" by Andie Ang, we learn more about this rare Singapore native, what Andie learnt from her painstaking study of these shy animals and some of the threats to these monkeys.
The article "Rainforests by the Sea: Celebrating Singapore's Mangrove Forests" by Dr Jean Yong, Joanne Khew and Ng Yan Fei, thoroughly dispels the cursory impression that Singapore's mangroves are boring with homogenous trees and pesky mosquitoes.
The authors highlight the mangrove's important ecosystems services, interesting mangrove plants and animals. Here's more about, and to download, Dr Jean Yong's fabulous 'blue' mangrove ID guides.
We also learn more about threats to our mangroves as well as mangrove conservation sucesses, such as those at Chek Jawa to the Sungei Api-Api mangroves and the Semakau Landfill mangrove replanting.
In musetalk with the indefatigable Prof Peter Ng, find out his frank and thought-provoking responses to questions such as "Why does Singapore need a natural history museum?", "Why should Singaporeans care about our natural history?", "Are there signs that Singapore's natural history could have a future?".
You might also want to check out this older BeMUSE article about our natural history: Island Life: Discovering the wild side of Singapore Aug 07 (pdf). Written by Norman Lim, the article features many of our awesome native animals!
BeMUSE is a quarterly magazine which features heritage as a lifestyle.

Thanks to alerts on this issue from Marcus Ng and Shufen and Gwynne on the Biodiversity Crew @ NUS blog.

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