Monday, May 28, 2012

Exciting happenings at the Festival of Biodiversity 2012

The big day has finally arrived.
All the exciting happenings at the Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens.
It the Festival of Biodiversity, organised by National Parks Board (NParks).
The Naked Hermit Crabs together with other marine groups are involved in this big festival.

Next to the Tanglin Gate entrance, a signage has been directing visitors to the festival.
Even at the drop-off point, the big signage welcomes all visitors to the festival.

The volunteers were easily recognised with cute marine animals. These cute animals were done by Ria Tan and the funny eyes were created by Toh Chay Hoon. We have multi-talented volunteers.
Some marine animal design
Here's mine consisting of a seahorse and a sea pen with a brittle star on it.
Me and my marine animals
And here's Ley Kun (Mama crab of the Naked Hermit Crab) with Mr Hermit Crab and Mr Lazy Anemone.
Ley Kun with Mr Hermit Crab and Lazy Anemone
There were many exciting booths for all ages at the big pavilion. The various marine groups put up booths such as the live marine animals, seagrass and seaweed tanks, the mangrove plants, the Seashore CSI, the marine food chain games and colouring activities.
Day 1 (Live Marine Animal Station): Sabrina hard at work
Day 2 (Live Marine Animal Station): Sean and Siti taking over while I have my break
Hardworking Rick at his mangrove station and Sankar at the seagrass station.
Colouring station (welcoming visitors early in the morning)
At various locations, the program schedule of talks, guided walks and art-and-craft activities were placed to allow visitors to know all the happenings for both days.
On the second level, there are more exhibition booths such as Toddycats (NUS), Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, ACRES, Wildlife Singapore, Nature Photographic Society, Madrasah... etc. There were more colouring stations and craft work stations for children.
More colouring station at level 2
Everyone is interested in looking at the specimens at the Toddycats booth
Some specimens at the Toddycats booth
NPSS and Madrasah
Craft station by Toddycats
Over at the Ridley Hall on Level 2, there are many craft workshops going on at various times.
When I went to take a look, a workshop had just ended. The participants came out with handcrafted dragonflies and some worm coiled on a pencil. A group of kids kindly allowed me to take a group picture of their crafts.
End of a craft workshop
Participants and their crafts
On the second day, Ivan Kwan gave a talk about how dead animals can be useful to researchers. Ivan is an active blogger and tweeter and he maintains Monday Morgue and other blog and Facebook page. Monday Morgue has been voted as a finalist in Singapore Blog Award 2012.
Ivan presenting
The highlight of this festival for me would be my Live Marine Animal station and being able to share these wonderful animals to the President of Singapore, Dr. Tony Tan. I had great fun sharing interesting stories about the sea stars, hermit crabs, heart urchin, cockle, the "Gong-gong" (conch), whelks to our visitors. And not to mention talking about these animals to the President.

Here are some images of me in action at the festival taken by other volunteers.
Day 1: Introducing my best friend, Mr Hermit Crab, to visitors
(Photo by  Eugene Ang)
Day 1: There are kids who dare to touch and kids who are so frightened of the animals
(Photo by Eugene Ang)
Day 1: Sharing more about the animals to our visitors
(Photo by Jeremy Ng)
Day 2: Everyone at the table taking a closer look at the sea stars
(Photo by Jeremy Ng)
Day 2: Holding a small hermit crab
(Photo by Jeremy Ng)
Day 2: Sharing about the different types of sea stars on display
(Photo by Jeremy Ng)
Images of me interacting with the President at the live marine animal station.
President Tony Tan looking at one of the trays of live animals
(Photo by Jeremy Ng)
Me sharing about the different species of sea stars to President Tony Tan
(Photo by Ria Tan)
Top view of what went on when President Tony Tan visited my booth
(Photo by Eugene Ang)
It was a memorable experience for me and having the opportunity to interact with the President of Singapore makes it even more meaningful for me. I have worked tirelessly throughout the 2 days of at the Festival of Biodiversity. The live marine animal station was not allocated to me to do but somehow I found it interested and stayed there for 2 full days, protecting the stressed out animals from probing and rough handling of some visitors. It was heart attacking moment everytime it happens. Also I have made many friends who do a part in protecting the marine environment.

To end this post off, let me share an image of my best friend I have made through this festival.
Mr Hermit Crab
Mr Hermit Crab is not with me now as we have returned all the marine animals back to the shore. Hopefully he is doing well.


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