Thursday, September 06, 2012

De-natured city girl

What is the black arc in the following photo? Make a guess! [See the bottom of this blog entry for the answer.]


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I grew up in Chinatown, and then moving to HDB units in Bukit Ho Swee and subsequently to other HDB new towns. That is, all my life, I have lived in pretty much city environment. Hence, my knowledge of the animal kingdom is very limited.

On this trip to Banff, I hiked at EM's pace and looked out for wildlife together with her. Here are the photos of some rodents I saw along the way, identified with EM's help.

Red Squirrel

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
(same one as the photo above)

Yellow-pine Chipmunk

American Pika

Clark's Nutcracker (bird) flies

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"If you give a wild animal food, you take away the very thing that makes it special -- its wildness."

When a squirrel isn't "just another squirrel", a "rabbit" is actually a pika [somehow Pikachu comes to mind], a bird isn't "just another bird" but an osprey, and another bird a Clark's nutcracker, somehow the animal kingdom seems a lot more interesting. Somehow the need to retain a natural habitat for this huge variety of life that share this beautiful planet Earth with us seems more important. And given the conflict between human and wildlife needs, the need to consider alternatives to sustain wildlife existence seems a lot more relevant.

Wildlife-crossing (bridge)

The black arc in the 1st photo of this post is actually a tunnel formed by a wildlife-crossing (bridge). The bridge is created to allow wildlife to cross the highway safely (guiding wildlife to use the bridge by fencing the perimeter along the highway); i.e. to reduce road-kill.

8 comments:

  1. They could at least disguise the bridge in a more natural way hehe.

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    1. Hi asingaporeanson,

      Thanks for visiting and your comment.

      From the perspective of a passenger on a vehicle driving through the tunnel, you are probably right. However, the animals' view is different from ours, coming from the forest and seeing the bridge from the landscape above (i.e. lots of trees and grass, etc on the bridge). So I think I cannot make a judgement call here. :)

      Cheers, WD.

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  2. Hello Winking Doll,

    I can see the faint image of a the fence. You are right. from the animals' view, it is definitely different. It is interesting to note we have a similar situation where we have to divide our biggest nature reserve at the heart of singapore into two. That road would be the BKE. It would be nice if they build a similar bridge with this intention back then.

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    1. Oh, I did not know that the BKE actually split Singapore's nature reserve into 2. If so, it would have been nice if they did build a similar bridge.

      IMHO, the main difference between Singapore and Canada in their approach to policy implementation is that the Singapore government assumes it knows best and ramp-rod its implement down the throat of its citizens/residents in the name of efficiency. In Canada, things take "forever" to change with so many layers upon layers of review (e.g. environmental, impact to the First Nations, etc) and stake-holders petitions. While people may still not agree with the implementation in the end, there is at least considerable amount of time spent airing potential issues and looking at alternatives and/or remedies to minimize the negative impact.

      IMHO, it is a case of efficiency (i.e. Singapore) vs effectiveness (i.e. Canada). There is no right answer, just a case of individual preferences and situational needs.

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    2. Last year they started construction of an ecological corridor to link Bukit Timah and Central Nature Reserves. I guess it's better late than never. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1143970/1/.html

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    3. Hi wanderingsmurf,

      Thanks for visiting and sharing about the ecological corridor. This is fabulous news for nature conservation in Singapore. Yes, better late than never.

      Cheers, WD.

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  3. I saw it myself. They tore down a road of railings, built covered linkways, then tore down the linkway in less than 2 years and dug out the existing drains, put on new drains, build new covered linkway.

    2nd example. there was a carpark near where I live with THREE road humps within 20 metres. It was both ridiculous and comical. The reason why that happened was that HDB installed the first old one years ago. Town council built the middle one, for reason I can't figure out. LTA built the outer most one because in their policies every covered linkway crossing must come with a hump. So there, you have 3 humps in 20 metres.

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    1. Much ado about nothing comes to mind, hahah! :D

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