Workshops & Conferences
Sharing of knowledge and building capacity for conservation and animal management is a key role that Wildlife Reserves Singapore plays. We conduct and assist in organizing various workshops, symposiums, talks and conferences to gather experts to discuss and share the latest progress on various aspects of species conservation and management, strategize priorities and disseminate findings to a wider public audience.
Talk on Panda Conservation
Mr Luo Bo, the deputy head of the animal management department of China conservation and research centre for Giant Pandas (CCRCGP) made a public talk on Giant Panda conservation at the River Safari training room on 3rd September 2014. He shared details about the current and past conservation efforts undertaken by the team of the CCRCGP, as well as the present main issues threatening the survival of the Giant Pandas in the wild.
Talk on Rhino Conservation
Jennifer Fox from Thornybush Game Lodge made a presentation on 10th September 2014 titled Rhino Revolution: From Africa to Asia, where she talked about the severe threat of Rhino poaching in South Africa and how various organisation are working to fight the same, both by increasing protection in Africa and by trying to reduce the demand in Asia.
Talk on Orangutan Parasitology
MVDr. Ivona Foitová, Ph.D., from Masaryk University, Czech Republic made a presentation on 18th July 2014 on Orangutan parasitology. With a Ph.D is Wildlife Disease, she is the Principle Investigator in the Orangutan Health Project (OHP), the first Orangutan research project to investigate special behaviours and ecological conditions necessary to maintain health in wild Orangutans. The primary focus of OHP’s research to-date is investigating and understanding how wild Orangutans combat parasitic infections. Parasite infections can and do affect everything from health to reproduction and fertility, and ultimately survival.
WOW Talk on Yunan Snub nosed Monkey
Dr. Cyril Grueter shared his experience of studying the ecology, distribution and feeding behaviour of the Yunan Snub nosed monkey. His presentation showcased the challenges involved in studying this species and the threats and concerns being faced by the species. The unique findings included report of meat eating in this species and the adaptation of this species to limitations of forage availability by feeding on lichens.
World Pangolin Day
An outreach booth on Pangolins was set up at the Singapore Zoo on 15th February 2014 for World Pangolin Day. Two panels on Traditional Chinese medicine and Pangolins were displayed. A taxidermy specimen of an adult pangolin and a jar of pangolin scales were also displayed in the booth. Pangolin related activities for children were also provided in the booth. A total of around 250 zoo visitors (including around 50 children) stopped by the booth to learn about Pangolins. Many of them were not aware that pangolins were found in Singapore and were eager to learn more.
WOW talk on Conservation Research by International Animal Rescue Foundation, Indonesia
Dr. Karmele Llano Sanchez delivered a thought-provoking and educational commentary on how business practices are driving some of the Indonesia’s indigenous primate species (such as lorises or orangutans) to the brink extinction and forcing them to live and die in horrible circumstances. Sanchez explained how massive palm oil plantations are changing the entire ecosystem of Indonesia, as more and more rainforest is converted into unsustainable monoculture farms producing palm oil. As a consequence of this large and rapid deforestation, there is an increase in hunting of animals and illegal wildlife pet trade, which is driving many unique species to extinction, in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
She presented some of the work that IAR Foundation is doing with the support of many international donors including the Wildlife Reserve Singapore, with the local communities around Indonesia and with the Government in trying to find solutions to protect natural habitats in Indonesia, to secure the survival of many animal species and to give people another chance at sustainable development.
Freshwater Crab Conservation Roundtable
A Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation with special reference to Johora singaporensis was held on 27th – 29th March 2014. This round table was sponsored by WRSCF and organised in partnership with DBS- NUS, NParks and IUCN. The first two days (27th& 28th March) were closed roundtable discussions with select invited stakeholders to brainstorm and develop a conservation plan. A total of 40 representatives from National Parks Board, National University of Singapore, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, expert crab breeders, Ministry of Defence, Singapore Land Authority, National Environment Agency, Public Utilities Board, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Nature Society Singapore, Durrell Institute of Conservation Ecology and Fauna & Flora International, all worked together on the threat analysis for the species. They also arrived at the vision, goals, objectives, actions and suggestions for implementation of the conservation plan which are currently being compiled to produce a comprehensive document. The third day (29th March) was a public seminar which served as a platform to showcase the outcome of the roundtable and spread awareness on crab conservation amongst the general public of Singapore. 70 participants attended this public seminar and participated in the panel discussion.
WOW talk on Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers MyCAT
Ashleigh Kivilaakso Seow shared information on “The Realm of the Tiger”, which is a 5 day programme for zookeepers, docents and others who work with jungle cats and other iconic mammals to enhance their skills to educate and entertain zoo visitors. His talk was well received and provided insights into the various experiences participants will be exposed to such as joining in anti-poaching surveillance walks, looking for snares and traps as well as tiger and prey sign, such as pugmarks, scratching, scat, tracks, scent marking and tiger kill, setting up and checking camera traps, interacting with the indigenous Batek people to learn how the tiger and other animals feature in their tribe’s religious mythology to name a few.
WOW talk on following the trail of the elusive Proboscis Monkey
For decades, knowledge about the endangered proboscis monkey had been gleaned from limited information of their behavior from boat surveys along riverbanks where they rest in the early mornings and late evenings. This was due to the inhospitable swampy habitats they live in, which made them near impossible to track once they move into inland forests. This resulted in patchy knowledge about the species’ ecology.
Dr. Ikki Matsuda pioneered the first full-day continuous observations of proboscis monkeys by tracking them on foot in riverine forests in Sabah, East Malaysia. He shared information on this long-term effort which began in 2006 and also led to the first systematic study of proboscis monkeys, revealing comprehensive information about their feeding and ranging behaviors; as well as novel findings about their incredible digestive strategy of rumination, the first documented among primate species.