Thursday, January 22, 2004

Magpie Robins poached

ST reported today: "The magpie robin, which was believed to have all but disappeared from Singapore, has been spotted in the Peirce Road area, according to a Straits Times reader who saw the birds making nests in his garden and the immediate neighbourhood.

However, their return may be short-lived.

A professed nature lover, Mr Christopher Lim Tien Lock, has noticed bird trappers setting up nets to capture the wild birds in the past six months.

He said ruefully: 'This has happened five to six times and, without fail, the wild magpie is caught. I have reported the matter to the AVA but no solution has emerged. I am now at my wits' end how to protect these beautiful birds from being harmed.'

Mr Lim has tried to confront the trappers on several occasions. He said that once an old man he stopped turned abusive, and he was forced to call the police.

So far, no one has been caught for trapping the birds."


the beautiful bird with melodious song has disappeared from Singapore mainland due to poaching. nowadays u can only spot this bird in Sungei Buloh or Pulau Ubin. The territorial nature of the male bird makes it easy to trap. poachers usually put a decoy bird near the trap. the resident male will fly down and chase away the "intruder".

I understand that it is be difficult for AVA and NParks to enforce the law. Like the recent exhange of letters in ST Forum abt falling tree branches, we cannot expect AVA or NParks to station officers there all the time. Airani and I had played a small part in blowing the whistle on plant poachers previously. we spotted some suspicious characters removing aquatic plants from the nature reserve. I took digital pics of their "getaway vehicle" and reported the incident. Airani appeared to "testify" against the cultcripts who ended up with a fine.

so just keep a look out for not just magpie robin poachers, there will be people up to "money business" in nature areas. like the chopping down of the Changi tree. it's good to have a camera around to document evidence. just exercise your initiative as a citizen and report these cases.


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