SCRAPBOOK: BFF Big Birdwatch

Over the 25 – 26 April 2020 weekend, BFFers were up bright and early to embark on our Big Birdwatch from home! 

For our first citizen science-based activity this year, the BFFers recorded birds they spotted over a 30 min period between 7 – 9 am on either day. Sightings were recorded and mapped on the NParks BIOME system using the SGBioAtlas app.

Though identifying some species (especially by calls!) proved to be tricky, it was still an educational and insightful experience for all. We were definitely wowed by the variety of birds we can observe without having to leave the comfort of our homes! Visit the BFF Challenge blog to find out more: 

You can birdwatch from home too! Check out these tips to make the most out of your home birdwatching experience:

Often, birds are heard before they can be seen. Here are some bird calls you may be able to hear from your home: 

SCRAPBOOK is a series of posts featuring written work and photographs submitted by our BFF Challenge 2020 participants themselves. Look out for more of them here!


SCRAPBOOK: Herp Herp Hooray!

April 2020 – After asking a Herper some Burning Questions, the BFFers researched on various reptiles and amphibians that can be found in Singapore. They each chose a species of herp to highlight, and learned about several aspects of their ecology. Take a look at what we found out!

One BFFer, Yu Xin, even created an infographic about the Black-eyed Litter Frog! Scroll all the way down to check it out.: 

BFFer Yu Xin put a creative spin on her research: 

Designed by Chang Yu Xin. Inset photo by Melvyn Yeo (

Though these creatures are often misunderstood, it is clear why they are important in many ecosystems. They prey on a variety of species, and actually help humans keep pest species populations in check. Without herps, our food sources and crops would be threatened even more by hungry predators! Many people also fear venomous herp species, but most of the time, they will only attack when provoked. These fears will be unwarranted, as long as we learn to appreciate them from a safe distance.

We definitely hope to see some of these fascinating creatures in person, when it’s safe to explore our nature areas again! In the meantime, find out more about some of our local herps on the BFF Challenge blog. 

SCRAPBOOK is a series of posts featuring written work and photographs submitted by our BFF Challenge 2020 participants themselves. Look out for more of them here!

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Given the current Circuit Breaker measures, our Herp Walk had to be cancelled 😦 . Luckily for us, Sankar, the President and co-founder of the Herpetological Society of Singapore, was happy to answer the BFFers’ ‘Burning Questions’!

So they fired away, asking a variety of questions from how he became a Herper, herp ecology, and even his research project involving Reticulated Python poop!

Check out what Sankar had to say:

We would like to say THANKSSSS to our friends from the Herpetological Society of Singapore! Learn about them on their website and Facebook page.

biodiversitychallenge, biodiversitychallenge2020, habitat enhancement, Uncategorized

SCRAPBOOK: Habitat Enhancement

Saturday 14 Mar 2020 – The BFFers put on their gardening gloves for a Habitat Enhancement activity at Chestnut Nature Park! Together with Dr Chua Siew Chin, RVRC FoRestore and other volunteers (including residents living nearby), they tended to plots of native tree saplings that were planted in 2018-19. 

It was a morning well-spent: clearing invasive weeds that were smothering the growing saplings, and scattering leaf litter, which will act as a natural fertiliser by releasing nutrients during decomposition. Thanks to their efforts, hopefully it’ll be a little easier for these trees to grow, so they can provide food sources and refuges for our wildlife! 

Though it might’ve been quite a workout, it sounds like it was a meaningful and satisfying activity for all. Hear what the BFFers have to say on our  BFF Challenge blog:

Great work, BFFers! Take a look at all of their reflections for this field trip here

SCRAPBOOK is a series of posts featuring written work and photographs submitted by our BFF Challenge 2020 participants themselves. Look out for more of them here!

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SCRAPBOOK: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Saturday 14 Mar 2020 – The BFFers embarked on a guided walk to Sungei Buloh, Singapore’s first wetland reserve. Led by our guide, Ivan Kwan, the trip was both educational and exciting for all! 

The BFFers have penned their thoughts in our BFF Challenge blog, check them out: 

Thank you BFFers! You can read all of their reflections for this field trip here.

SCRAPBOOK is a series of posts featuring written work and photographs submitted by our BFF Challenge 2020 participants themselves. Look out for more of them here!

biodiversitychallenge, biodiversitychallenge2020

FIELD TRIP! Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Saturday 14 Mar 2020 – Have you ever seen a fish ‘walking’ on land? Or how about a peculiar crab, waving a brightly-coloured pincer that’s almost twice as long as its body?

These were just some of the sights BFFers were treated to, during a field trip to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. We learned from our guide, Ivan Kwan, about the unique mangrove ecosystem, and the variety of animals big and small that call it home.

And what a variety we saw! From a majestic White-bellied Sea Eagle, to tiny Fiddler Crabs dotting the mudflat with specks of colour, with their vibrant ‘oversized’ pincers. And of course, mudskippers galore! Quintessential inhabitants of mangroves, these specially-adapted fish can breathe on land by storing water in their enlarged gill chambers, and ‘walk’ on the mudflat with their strong pectoral fins.

Check out some of the highlights of our trip here:

See you at our next field trip!

FIELD TRIP! is a series of posts featuring some of the Field Trips BFF Challenge 2020 participants are attending. Look out for more of them here from Mar – May 2020!

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Preparing for the Biodiversity Challenge 2020!

The Biodiversity Challenge is an annual orientation open to anyone with relatively little exposure to biodiversity in Singapore, but are keen to learn more and contribute. It is organised around three elements, and involves spending some 20 hours over 5 months on the following:

  1. Empower yourselves by attending the BFF Seminar & Workshop [4 hours]
  2. Equip – Attend three curated field trips offered by seniors and log your experience in a shared field journal on wordpress. [3 field trips, 10 hours]
  3. Engage & enable – by sharing about nature first with friends and family, and then with the public at a booth during the Festival of Biodiversity [6 hours]

Graduates of the last challenge said this is what they liked of the programme – everyone was welcoming, anyone could join, they made friends and met people in the nature community, their eyes were opened to new places, and they made aware of many things which were hapening in the local scene and got to share existing information about wildlife in Singapore with friends, family and the public.

Graduates of the 2019 Biodiversity Challenge

We have begun preparations for the 2020 programme to roll out in Feb this year. Watch this space!

First meeting – Otterman with Joy Wong, Lesley Chng & Karl Png
Alumni chip in – Otterman with Anna, Joash, Ben, Joy & Cheryl