27 May 2020 – To round up our Burning Questions LIVE series, we chatted with a volunteer guide from the Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore) (JGIS), Joys Tan!
The session opened with a short sharing by a BFF Alumna, Cheryl Yong! Since completing the BFF Challenge in 2018, Cheryl has since gone on to volunteer in other programmes, like citizen science surveys. This evening, she told us about how she has had not one, not two, but five exciting encounters with the elusive Raffles Banded Langur during her surveys!
And then it was time to hear from our guest in the hot seat, Joys! Having volunteered with JGIS for a few years, Joys is well-versed in our local primates! And this was evident in her comprehensive presentation – She first introduced our three native primate species (Long-tailed Macaque, Raffles Banded Langur, Sunda Slow Loris), before outlining several aspects of Long-tailed Macaques’ behaviour and ecology. She then highlighted some existing conservation strategies, before sharing tips for what we should do when we encounter macaques.
From this, the BFFers realised how important it is to understand animals’ behaviour and ecology, in order to know how to coexist. Strategies like Monkey Guarding are backed by scientific data, so as to effectively minimise negative interactions. And on a personal level, knowing the reasons why macaques approach humans, can guide us to make small adjustments to our actions.
Joys also kept us engaged with personal stories from her experience as a guide. We really appreciate the commitment shown by dedicated volunteers (such as Joys herself!) in promoting a positive coexistence with our primate neighbours!
Check out some of our highlights below, or visit the BFF Challenge blog for more details.
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!