Dragons Taking Flight

August 8, 2010 at 9:00 am | Posted in itchy mouth | 2 Comments
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In 2008 at the launch of a book that I was involved in – Private Lives: An Expose of Singapore’s Mangroves, I met Mr Tang Hung Bun whom I got to know through my birdwatching friends. I was asking why he seemed to disappear from the birding scene for so long and he replied that he had changed his focus to drangonflies, as it is an area that fewer people are studying and photographing, hence a bigger challenge to him. I was surprised to know that our little island has over hundred of different species of dragnonflies and damselflies – some are so rare that you need to go to a specific area to find them.

Hence I was glad to be part of the team working on the book that Mr Tang had spent so much time and effort on.

On 2 Aug, together with a third book of the Private Lives series, the Dragonfly book was finally launched!

I was late, so not sure who was this gentleman from ExxonMobil. Could
only grab a seat at the back so couldn’t get better photos.. 😦

Prof Peter Ng, Director of Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR),
giving an introduction on the Dragonfly book. Dragonflies and damselflies are
important as they are indicator of a healthy freshwater body. Being predators,
they control the population of other insects, even at the larva stage. Hmm…
these two pictures are not in the book…

Then, he gave an overview on the new freshwater book, which many
would associate just with fish, prawns and crabs. The cover showcases the
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio), an uncommon bird which I had
only seen once many years ago in the Kranji area

As with the other Private Lives books, this book has a chapter on species
which were either first discovered in Singapore or named after some part
of the country

The two earlier Private Lives books. Was glad to know that the mangrove
book was very well-received…Yeah…

Prof Ng ended his very enlightening talk with a picture of a Smooth Otter
(lutrogale perspicillata) that created a wave when he appeared in the Bedok
Reservior some years back. Wonder why didn’t I know about that?

The two books officially launched by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the
Environment and Water Resources and the ExxonMobil gentleman. The
books were ‘fished out’ from the aquarium.. :p

My copies of the new book, which only comes in soft cover

Private Lives: An Exposé of Singapore’s Freshwaters and A Photographic Guide of Dragonflies of Singapore are now available at RMBR! Once again, Itchyfingers dun get any commission for passing this piece of lobang around…haha… 8)

Also see related posts:
> Private Lives: An Exposé of Singapore’s Mangroves
> The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research



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  1. Thank you for this great post! Makes me feel as if I was there. I have also enjoyed reading your other posts. You have a great blog!

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