Saturday, June 05, 2010

World Environment Day @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.....

Today is World Environment Day. And Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve had put up some talks and a Spider Exhibition to celebrate this day!

I reached just in time for the first talk by Mendis, the Senior Outreach Officer of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

The talk was about Spiders as well as the Spider study carried out at the Reserve! Mendis gave a brief introduction to the two specific species of Spider that the study focus on. They are the Hairy Foot Mangrove Spider and Eight Spotted Crab Spider.

He told us that the Eight Spotted Crab Spider are hard to find as they are mostly found on the canopy and would come down to slightly above eye-level to moult. The study also identified about 117 species of Spider to date. He talked about some myths about Spiders eg People thought that Spiders are all deadly.....but in fact not all are deadly.

And people should be glad to have Spiders around as they help to control the number of insects! Especially pests like Mosquitoes and Cockroaches! They are responsible for about 99% of the insect mortality rate!

Another myth is the hoax email, about a deadly Spider that lurk in airplanes, which was circulating sometimes back.

The Spider identified in that email is actually a non-deadly Jumping Spider and Mendis has a photo of it in the slide. Haha.....that Spider looks more cute than deadly!

Of course, he also told us the deadly ones. Glad that they are now found in Singapore so far.

And he showed some funny cartoons about the mating behaviour of Spiders!

Haha.....I liked the left one which said "I enjoy being a Spider, but it makes dancing a nightmare" And the one saying this is a male Spider because the males need to dance to impress the ladies!

The right one is about the doom fate of male Black Widow Spider. As mating is usually the last activity for a male Black Widow. The female will kill and eat him after mating. That's why she's always a....."Black Widow." :p

Lastly, Mendis showed us various types of Spider that can be seen in Singapore. For eg,

and also the patterns of their eyes arrangement.

After the talk, Mendis briefed some of the audience on the photo exhibition of the spiders found in the Reserve.

Do go down to the Reserve to catch this exhibition if you are interested. It will be displayed until 30th June.

Immediately after the Spider talk, it was followed by a talk given by Law Hock Ling, a Marine Biologist. He introduced us to the treasures in our sea!

Haha.....the treasures that he was talking about are not gold from ship wrecks but our marine life!

He gave a brief introduction of how our sea looks like in the early 60s and 70s. Where people are able to catch big fish easily and water was so clear that we have plenty of corals etc.

He covered about some threats that our sea faces now.....

like dredging, land reclamation and sedimentation!

As well as the recent oil spill.....

The chart below show some of the major oil spill happened around the world. And the red line is the recent oil spill in Singapore compared to the major ones in term of volume.

Yes, it may looks dwarf compared to those major ones. But even small amount of oil spill still impact the environment and kill marine life!

Next, he told the audience where to look for treasures at our shores! And rock bunds is a good place to start.

You can find marine snails that do "break dancing".

A behaviour by the marine snail, Periwinkle, to minimize its foot contact with the hot surface of the rock when the rock heat up.

Besides snails, you can find Barnacles too! He show us a video about how a Barnacle mates with its long penis!

And also how a Barnacle glue its head to hard surface and how it feed!

Of course, Hock Ling talked about other marine creatures that one can see at our shores but alas, I forgot to take any picture!

It was nice talks by the two speakers! And hopefully it will get some of the audience especially the kids' interest in our biodiversity!


Blogger Ria Tan said...

Thanks for sharing this Chay Hoon! I feel like I was there and now don't feel so bad for missing it.

June 06, 2010 8:36 AM  

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