Intertidal Walk at Big Sisters Island

Date February 16, 2017

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By Nicholas Chew – On Sunday, a few Hantu Blog volunteers were invited to participate in an intertidal guided walk at Big Sisters Island, part of our very own marine park. The walk was organised by Ria Tan, creator of wildsingapore.com and an avid environmental activist. Over the years, Ria and other like-minded nature lovers have been regularly documenting biodiversity on our shores with a mission to promote the appreciation and conservation of our natural heritage. It was a great privilege to join them! Above: The jetty at Big Sisters Island. Read the rest of this entry »

Signs of an oil spill

Date February 14, 2017

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The Hantu Blog focuses its efforts in Singapore’s southern islands, but our living shores extend far beyond that. I decided to join Ria Tan at Changi Creek in Singapore’s northeast, for a look at the impact of a 300-tonne oil spill that occurred in the East Johor Strait last month. Signs of the oil spill were not obvious to me, but once Ria pointed them out and shared how to recognise indicators of an environmental impact, I began to see the signs everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

Hidden Treasure

Date February 13, 2017

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It can be hard to get a grip on what stands out in Singapore. Buildings change. Landscapes change. Places from our childhood disappear. Where can we go where we can set foot on sand that was not moved by humans? Cyrene Reef is one of those places. I was fortunate to visit this reef thanks to a trip organised by Ria Tan who is one of the many people who have been sharing and monitoring this reef for over a decade. Read the rest of this entry »

Monitoring our reefs (Pt 2)

Date February 8, 2017

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Over several weekends (and some weekday nights!) we had Dr Jeffrey Low introduce us to the art (and science) of reef surveys! Through his enthusiastic sharing, we learnt some of the survey methods commonly used to monitor coral reefs. He also taught us the importance of citizen science and its vital contribution to conservation work. We also learned to identify some common lifeforms found on our local reefs, and how to record our findings in a way that is useful for scientists and agencies to use. Above: Hantu Blog volunteers with Dr Jeffrey Low. Photo by Debby. Read the rest of this entry »

Small World, Big Start

Date January 11, 2017

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With reefs wrapped around a pair of islands that measure less than a square kilometre, Pulau Hantu is not a big place by any measure. Regular divers know that size is no judge of the diversity of this little marine treasure trove. In fact, the diversity of our islands is disproportionate to its size! Renowned macro enthusiast, Chay Hoon, started her New Year in the waters of Pulau Hantu, and astounded her buddies with her rich and rare finds! We share some of her finds in this blog post! Above: Sea slug, Siphopteron quadrispinosum, about 2mm. Photographs by Toh Chay Hoon. Read the rest of this entry »

All That Wrapper

Date December 27, 2016

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Wrappers are pretty – that’s the idea. They are intended to attract, mesmerise, and evoke a sense of allure. But once we are done with them, we crush them up and toss them aside. In spite of its evocative potential, a pretty piece of wrapper, is alas, benign. But not these. These are wrappers of gorgonians, and a predator that sits atop another predator, is far from benign. Read the rest of this entry »

Homeground

Date December 26, 2016

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Guest blogger, underwater photographer and Singapore reef explorer, Katherine Lu, shares her experiences of discovering Singapore’s marine wonders in this very special Boxing Day post! Be blown away by some of her encounters! Above: Cuthona sp. Read the rest of this entry »

Little Creatures

Date December 23, 2016

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Hantu Blog dive guide and Math teacher, Ng Boon Leong, took to the waters of Pulau Hantu on a day of clear skies and calm waters for a day of photography with our veteran guide Jeemee Goh and macro enthusiast Toh Chay Hoon. It was also a training day for one of our new guides! We’re always excited to take new people out, share our Hantu Blog story, and build our family so that more people can discover how very special Singapore reefs are! Boon Leong shares, “The visibility was a relatively good 4m, and this allowed us to spot some of the smaller critters on the corals and hydroids,” such as this Doto sp. nudibranch! Read the rest of this entry »

Monitoring our Reefs

Date August 1, 2016

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A handful of our volunteer reef guides are being trained in Reef Check techniques that will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to help local scientists monitor our reefs. The first workshop and field trip was conducted in June and it was an opportunity for our guides to pay careful attention to the coral forms and the condition of our reef, while gaining experience in setting up reef transects with our volunteer trainers and instructors Jeffrey Low and Toh Chay Hoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Abandoned cats on Pulau Hantu: Update

Date August 1, 2016

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The Hantu Blog got together with volunteers from the Cat Welfare Society to Trap, Neuter and Relocate (TNR) cats on Pulau Hantu. The Hantu Blog learned about the cats from campers who visited the island in June. Two cats were caught. They have been neutered, and we are looking for homes for two of them. If you are able to adopt or foster either of them, please get in touch with us. Otherwise, if you are a cat feeder and think that you may be able to assist in the integration of the striped tabby with your community cats, please let us know. The cats will not be returned to the island. We want to keep our islands free from cats and a safe refuge for migratory birds and native reptiles that use the island to feed, hide and rest. Read the rest of this entry »