25 October 2012

'Panda' of the mangroves discovered, Neil Humphreys writes on Chek Jawa and more

The ‘Panda’ of Mangroves, Bruguiera hainesii, has been found in the mangroves of Pulau Tekong! Here's more by the person who found them, Koh Kwan Siong of NParks.
Also an article by renowned author Neil Humphreys about his daughter's joy at Chek Jawa, work by volunteers at Pasir Ris, and a review of the "Wild Singapore" book. All in the latest issue of My Green Space Oct-Dec 2012 a newsletter of the National Parks Board.

In "Rare Findings at Pulau Tekong" by Koh Kwan Siong, we learn that the mangrove forest of Pulau Tekong is one of the largest remaining patches of mangroves in Singapore undisturbed by human activities. As such, boundless opportunities exist of meeting some of the ‘natives’ probably not found anywhere else in Singapore. Bruguiera hainesii is classified in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as critically endangered, with an approximate estimate of only 200 trees left in the world! He also found the ‘Banana’ Mangrove Kandelia candel, an important discovery as the last known young tree died in early 2011.

Congratulations Kwan Siong and Louis for finding these precious plants at Tekong!

In "Chek Jawa: Where Children Become Eco-warriors" renowned author Neil Humphreys declares "Without a doubt, Chek Jawa is among my favourite family spots in Singapore. For my daughter, the protected wetlands on the southern-eastern tip of Pulau Ubin offered a journey of discovery into a country’s past. My little one had never encountered mangroves before, never peered down at coral rubble or stepped over a seagrass lagoon."
"But more than that, she could just run. The 1.1 km-long boardwalk, viewing jetty and tower enabled her to do all the Dora the Explorer-type stuff that all kids must do: run, jump, chase, explore, navigate, discover, run around some more and then pee: all the things that the kampong dwellers of Pulau Ubin have always done."

In "A Unique Weekend of Mud, Mudskippers and Snails" by Shirley Wong we learn that the mangrove forest at Pasir Ris Park is one of the few mangrove sites left in Singapore.

This area will benefit from a collaboration between NParks and Panasonic to conduct a mangrove biodiversity study will include 16 biodiversity monitoring sessions over a two-year period, covering an area of 6 hectares, to study our mangrove tree species, snails and mudskippers.

If you'd like to see the amazing Pasir Ris mangroves for yourself, join the free guided walks provided by the Naked Hermit Crabs during the school holidays.

"A Peek into the ‘Wild’ Side of Singapore" by Geoffrey Davison reviews the soon-to-be launched "Wild Singapore" book. While some readers that might consider "Wild Singapore" to be a contradiction in terms, in truth, there really is a wild side to Singapore. The book is not just about NParks and the nature reserves; it covers the whole of Singapore’s natural heritage and attempts to bring it alive through engaging narrative and vivid photographs. Every major tropical habitat from forest to sea, from mangrove to freshwater, from secondary woodland to park/garden is covered in a separate chapter.
In early November 2012, Oxford-based publisher John Beaufoy and NParks will be launching this exciting 200-page book, illustrated with more than 250 colour photos. The book will retail for $69.90 at all major bookstores as well as Singapore Botanic Gardens retail shops – the Garden Shop and the Library Shop.

More about the "Wild Singapore" book in this post.

Read these articles and more in the latest issue of My Green Space Oct-Dec 2012 a newsletter of the National Parks Board.

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