biodiversitychallenge, biodiversitychallenge2020, Burning Questions LIVE

SCRAPBOOK: Burning Questions LIVE with a Wildlife Educator

16 May 2020 – Our BFFers were up bright and early on a Saturday morning, for a second Burning Questions LIVE (a.k.a. virtual fireside chat) session! Up next in the hot seat, was Senior Manager of NParks’ Wildlife Management and Outreach branch, Cyrena Lin.

The term ‘Wildlife Management’ may conjure certain images – Staff on standby to respond to calls about snakes in homes, or encounters with mischievous macaques. But Cyrena revealed that many of her cases involve an animal that all of us see on a daily basis – pigeons!

Setting this surprising revelation aside, the discussion moved towards outreach strategies. Pigeon-feeding is a prevalent issue. While it may be easy for BFFers to understand why we should not feed wildlife, how do you engage those who genuinely see it as an act of goodwill?

Through Cyrena’s sharing, we learned how a systematic, multi-faceted approach is needed to promote responsible interactions with wildlife. Each person engaged brings new opportunities to learn. So, as much as education is a key objective, it is just as important to listen and connect with our audience. Ultimately, whether or not we are talking about pigeons or macaques, outreach has to come from a place of empathy.

It was an insightful session indeed, and we are really grateful to Cyrena for sharing her firsthand experiences. Check out some of our highlights below, or visit the BFF Challenge blog to find out more.

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!