Symposium 2012

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Day 1,  Session 1
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05 Mar 2012: 10.00am – 12.00am.
Venue: LS Lab 7A
Panel: N. Sivasothi, Ong Say Lin, Su Shiyu and Marcus Chua.

Group 1 – One little, two little, three little egrets!

Presented by Chua Yi Xin, Jonathan Leo Qi Xiang, Liu Yizhu, Toh Wei Jun and Valerie Toh Qianhui.

Abstract – Little Egrets feed in flocks where there is safety in numbers and higher probability of finding prey. We investigated the feeding behaviour of little egrets – how the number of birds in close vicinity relates to feeding efficiency. We carried out our observations in the Sungei Buloh mudflats and computed the feeding efficiency of birds. We also observed some unique behaviours such as stirring of water and differing neck curvatures. We believe that these behaviours help in hunting efficiently. We conclude that efficiency drops with an increase in flock size and attribute this to the distribution of prey among the birds.

Group  2 – Monitoring the Dragon- A study on the defensive behaviors of Malayan Water Monitor Lizards (Varanus salvator)

Presented by Ho Ray Lim Glenn, Neha Gautam, Vincent Lee Chi Siang, Tan Xing Long and Kiat Ying Xin

Abstract – The myth that the Malayan Water Monitor Lizards (Varanus salvator) are aggressive should be debunked. We highlighted the defensive mechanisms adopted by monitor lizards when plausible threats are perceived- this study explores how monitor lizards enlarge themselves via throat bloating and neck elevation. Other defensive behaviours observed include tail whipping, maintaining eye contact and remaining motionless.  We summarized these characteristics and presented them in tables and a condensed ethnogram. We compared our deductions with existing empirical evidence and our conclusion suggests that there might be a relationship between the size of the lizard and the defensive approaches it may utilize.

Group 3 – Project Pigeon

Presented by Ling Zhi Yin Eugenia, Wee Shi Yi, Chng Yun Jia Devon, Nicklaus Yu Kai Xuan, Yeo Chu Leong

Abstract – Pigeons are an interesting bird species that have adapted to the human environment but are usually considered as pests. Our project aims to show the loving side of pigeons through their courtship behaviors. Courtship is a costly activity for most animals; but pigeons exhibit courtship behaviors all year round in search of the right mate. Our group identified a pigeon flock that inhabited the human environment because of the constant availability of food. With an appropriate methodology, our group identified the trend of courtship behaviors exhibited by pigeons at different time periods.

Group 4  – Long tailed macaques and their reaction to bags

Presented by Lau Zi Tong Cassandra, Harry Akbar Sutiono, Chou Wei Boon Joel,Lim Pei Yee and Valery Heng Ling Yu.

Abstract – Our project is based on the following question: “Does hierarchy within a troop affect how long-tailed macaques interact with people and their bags?” We observed the monkeys at MacRitchie reservoir on weekends where more macaque-human interactions took place. We studied the relationship of the different types of monkeys (dominant males, other males, females and juveniles) towards people and their bags. Our hypothesis is that monkeys of higher rank would initiate more active interaction compared to lower ranked monkeys and based on our findings, our hypothesis is true.

Group  5 – Long Tailed Macaques Response to Cars along Old Upper Thomson Road

Presented by Tan Mei Fen, Muhammad Mateen Bin Jumli, Vanessa Pek Huiru, Chan Bao Xing, Lee Sok Gin (Lee Xue Yin).

Abstract – Our research aims to discern the type of behaviors macaques exhibit in relation to cars along old upper thomson road and also discuss about the macaques behavior in relation to the human-macaque conflict. Our hypothesis is that the macaques will display high level of interest towards the cars that passes through that particular stretch of road, due to car associated feedings. Our findings indicate otherwise, which we attribute to macaques possibly having a higher level of learning, in terms of recognizing feeders in cars.

Group 6 – Effect of Macaque Population Demographics on Intra-Specific Aggression

Presented by Oh Ting Wen, Sonia, Ong Shi Ning, Lau Xin An, Ian Tai Zhi Jian, Christine Chan Jia Hui

Abstract – This study aims to find out if demographic differences affects the level of intra-specific aggression displayed by long-tailed macaques. A 10hour observational study was conducted at Bukit Timah and MacRitchie Reservoir and we found that age and level of aggression were positively correlated. There is also a possible link found between the level of intra-specific aggression and amount of maternal care provided by the macaques.

Group  7 – Bat Geographic

Presented by Neo Kee Ying Kelly, Koh Joe Yee, Quek En Qi Dorea, Tian Jia Qi, Valerie Kang Zi-wei

Abstract – We want to observe the pre-flight behaviour of the Cynopterus brachyotis, also known as the Lesser Dog-faced bat, specifically how they prepare themselves for foraging. Our observations are based on the different movements that we have classified and recorded down as the bats prepare to leave their roost and forage. Altogether, we will present the behavioural range and patterns of this species at dusk.

 

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Day 1,  Session 2
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05 Mar 2012: 10.00am – 12.00am.
Venue: LS Lab 7C
Panel: Dr Zeehan Jaafar, Erica Sena Neves, Leong Chin Rick and Lim Bock Hing Rayson

Group  8 – The Feeding Frequency of the Fiddler Crab Uca vocans vocans Against a Rise in Tidal Levels

Presented by Lim Jun Yong, Lok Liang Xun, Teo Eng Tong Wilber, Wu Xiuyun Rebecca

Abstract – The objective of our study is to ascertain if there is an inverse relationship between the feeding frequency of the fiddler crab Uca vocans vocans against a rise in tidal levels. The study was conducted at the mangrove section of Chek Jawa on Pulau Ubin, Singapore. A total of 21 observations were made over a duration of two-and-a-half hours – before the rapid rise of incoming tides made further observations impossible. Based on our findings, our hypothesis seems to stand – although further research might be necessary to better substantiate our claims.

Group  9 – Foraging Preferences of Butterflies along the Butterfly Trail @ Orchard (BTO)

Presented by Kristabelle Tan, Natalie Ng, Dipan S/O Palanisamy, Soo Thoo Sherman, Marcus Soh

Abstract – Butterflies are a common sight in Singapore but are often taken for granted. There is not much known about their foraging preferences for different flower species. Our group observed butterflies around the BTO to investigate their different preferences among 4 types of flower species. We will be investigating the floral properties like nectar content, color and age across 3 locations in relation to butterfly foraging patterns and how differently butterfly families exhibit distinct flora preferences.

Group  10 – Grooming behaviour of long-tailed macaques

Presented by Chong Shu Ling, Clara Poon Yiying, Gan Kang Ping Roy, Shandy Lin Lishan, Ye Guanjie

Abstract – This study focuses on the grooming patterns of the Long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) found in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. First, we would examine how gender or age act as determining variables with respect to grooming frequency. Additionally, we would investigate the body part(s) that are groomed most frequently. We hypothesized that female-to-male grooming and adult-to-adult grooming occur most of the time, particularly for body parts inaccessible to self-grooming. Our observations have however, shown more frequent male-to-female grooming instead, while supporting other hypotheses. These results are then cross-referenced with existing studies in order to provide a clearer understanding of such behaviours.

Group  11 – Scavenging behavior of yellow crazy ants

Presented by Ow Liying, Kyi Kyi Wai Lynn, Leanne Chan, Tan Rou Jing, Teo Boon Hwee

Abstract – Yellow crazy ants (YCAs) are very aggressive and competitive so as to dominate food sources and are easily dispersed by human activities. The purpose of our project is to investigate if YCA do measure the size of their prey, which may change their scavenging patterns, mainly individual or collective retrieval. From field trip observations, we concluded that YCA estimates the size of prey, instead of measuring it. They then decide the number of YCA to be recruited and deployed to scavenge. For a small prey, individual retrieval is deployed, but for a larger prey, collective retrieval is their scavenging method.

Group  12 – Weaver Ants: A behavioural study

Presented by Marissa Zuhaila Zainuddin, Kanitha Jagatheson , Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Aziz, Yang Tzu Hsuan

Abstract –Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) are known for their unique ability to weave their nests using larval silk. Therefore, like every other animal, they share their own form of communication and character traits to adapt to their environment. In an attempt to understand how external factors like weather and time affect the behavioural patterns of the weaver ants, we observed a trail of weaver ants near the School of Design and Environment. The observation confirmed that while ants were continuously active throughout, their behaviour was often less significant at night and hindered by rain.

Group  13 – Javan Myna: An observational study comparing the foraging behaviour at ephemeral food sources versus regular food sources.

Presented by Goh Wan Qi, Zhang Zhenggang, Tan Si Yin, Wong Jin Xuan Keith

Abstract – Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) are widely found in Singapore. We focused on the foraging behavior, which is the finding and feeding of food. We specifically looked at two behaviors of foraging, which are represented by alertness and collaboration. As we have found in our literature review that there is a difference in foraging behaviors in regular food sources (NUS Sports and Recreational Field) as well as ephemeral food sources (Non-Air conditioned Food Court), we have done comparisons between these two places. Our findings suggest a correlation between foraging behavior and types of food source, which coincides with our hypothesis.

Group  14 – Basking behaviour: A study of Monitor lizards in Singapore.

Presented by Dannel low, Shawn Tan, Aaron Han, Wong Pei Hsin

Abstract – Monitor Lizards engage in basking habits for the regulation of their body temperature. Our group examined the temperature of the wooden basking platform, as well as the size of the monitor lizard in relation to the basking time. Our hypotheses predict that the higher the temperature of the wooden basking platform, and the smaller the size of the lizard, the shorter the basking time of the monitor lizard. We investigated this by collecting data with regards to the duration of basking, noting the environmental factors. We also noted territorial behaviour amongst the monitor lizards during their basking activities.

 

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Day 2,  Session 1
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19 Mar 2012: 10.00am – 12.00am.
Venue: LS Lab 7A
Panel: N. Sivasothi, Su Shiyu, Ariff Bin Abdul Aziz and Marcus Chua

Group  15 – Monkey Style

Presented by Cheong Yi Lin Eileen, Erh Xin Yi, Lin Huishan Vanessa, Shee Fangyi, Tan Si Ning

Abstract – Our project evaluates whether the time of the day affects the frequency of copulation amongst long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Observation of the macaques was done in 1.5-hour sessions in the morning, afternoon and evening at a specific location along Old Upper Thomson Road. However we cannot ascertain that the same group of macaques was observed. Final collation of our data showed that the highest frequency of copulation occurred in the morning and the least in the afternoon. Research on related studies supports our hypothesis and data that time of the day does affect the frequency of copulation among the macaques.

Group  16 – Factors affecting Monitor Lizards’ Intraspecific Aggressive Behavior

Presented by Genevieve Swee Ying Feng, Jek Ning Xin Amelia, Tay Yi Fen, Eileen Tay, Shersain Tan

Abstract – Our group project is on monitor lizards, scientific name Varanus salvator, commonly found in Sungei Buloh. We are interested in whether the size difference of the lizards would affect their intraspecific aggressive behaviours.  We discover that size difference does affect their behaviours, with larger lizards displaying more intraspecific aggressive behaviours than smaller lizards. In situations where the size of the lizards are the same, larger lizards also tend to display more aggressive behaviours towards each other compared to smaller lizards. We also took note of some interesting albeit rare observations when the lizards fight very aggressively or display sharing tendencies.

Group  17 – To flee or not to flee?

Presented by Karen Tan Sze Hwa, Loo Wu Huan, Muhammad Khairul Bin Muhamad Nasir, Tan Xue Min Debbie, Tan Kang Sheng

Abstract – Our project aimed to study the relationship between the flight distances of Malayan Water Monitor Lizards (Varanus salvator) and their sizes. We hypothesized that the size of the lizard had an inverse relationship to its flight distance. Four trips were made to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve for observations and data collection. Our data findings reckon that the larger the lizard was, the lesser its flight distance. Possible deductions to explain our observations were made. We also noted down common behaviors displayed across the lizards before they took flight.

Group  18 – Lesser Whistling Ducks

Presented by Dian Hidayu Bte Hussein, Mary Lim Ying Min, Yuen Hew Kuan Vanessa , Lau Xue Li Cherie, Hazel Lau Mei Ting

Abstract – We have conducted a study on the movement  and group behavior of Whistling Ducks, using non-intrusive, observation methods. Our question is ‘how do whistling ducks move in groups?’ To answer that, we observed the frequency of leader-follower behavior, the lag time between leading and following and the size of groups for specific forms of locomotion. We found that group size was largest for walking, followed by flying, then swimming. The mean lag time between leading and following observed the same patterns. Leader-follower behavior was more frequent for walking, followed by swimming then flying. Plausible reasons for these observations are explored.

Group  19 – Does human traffic affect the prey capture efficiency of the Cattle Egret?

Presented by Goh Cher Li Jamie, Sng Weiping, Janice, Loke Rong Hao Joel, Trini Zerlina Tan Zhao Ling, Toh Xiao Min

Abstract – Our project focuses on investigating the factors that affect the hunting efficiency of cattle egrets. Hence two fields, both located at Buangkok, would serve as our places of observation. One field is located within urban buildings and another on the forest edge. As the amount of prey for each field could not be determined, another important factor that affects the efficiency would be the amount of human traffic about and around the fields. The team not only collected data that backed our initial hypothesis, we even obtained useful observations that aid in explaining why human traffic is indeed a factor.

Group 20 – Put your ‘hands’ up

Presented by Goh Chia Huey Bernadette, Ng Kok How Javier, Ng Khang Yang, Estee Amanda Tan, Teo Hua Yi Alina

Abstract – Signalling displays are no common to the family of fiddler crabs. This signalling tactic is used for courtship as well as defense purposes. The porcelain fiddler crab (Uca annulipes) exhibits sexual dimorphism as the male fiddler crabs are known to have a significantly enlarged claw compared to the other (morphological asymmetry). This claw-waving behaviour comes with a price. Waving this enlarged claw expends a lot of energy and attracts predators. Our group intends to study the change in the male fiddler crab’s claw waving behaviour when other fiddler crabs of the same species are present.

Group  21 – Choosey Monkeys

Presented by Lim Pei Chie Caryn, Ng Hui Fang, Tay Sze Min, Winnie Tan Jia Hui, Zhang Qingran

Abstract – According to National Parks Board (NParks), monkeys have learnt to associate plastic bags with food due to frequent human feedings. Hence, the aim of our study is to determine whether long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) are more attracted towards plastic bags or plastic bags containing items. An experiment was conducted to find out the macaques’ reactions towards humans with plastic bags, be it empty, with food or non-food items. The experiment was repeated several times to determine the macaques’ level of responsiveness. Indeed from our experiment, long-tailed macaques are attracted to the plastic bags, and especially so in those containing items.

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Day 2,  Session 2
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19 Mar 2012: 10.00am – 12.00am.
Venue: LS Lab 7C
Panel: Dr Zeehan Jaafar, Erica Sena Neves, Lim Bock Hing Rayson and Chen Zijian Paul

Group 22 – Sentosa’s Next Top Hungry Models

Presented by Ang Xin Xiang, Goh Wee Gin, Majella Loh Chin Yang, Tan Choon Hang and Tan Xiao Xian

Abstract – “No Feeding!” A common yet blatantly ignored sign in Sentosa. Our group wants to investigate the relationship between the behaviour of the Pavo cristatus (Indian Peafowl) and the visitors who feed them. Firstly, we hypothesize that the occurrence of active behaviour exhibited by the Pavo cristatus found within an area of Sentosa is proportionate to the number of visitors engaged in food-related activities. Secondly, we also hypothesize that the Pavo cristatus have learnt to approach the visitors for food. From our observations, we conclude that feeding the Pavo cristatus has a significant impact on the number and behaviour of Pavo cristatus found within an area.

Group  23 – Rainy Day Munchies

Presented by de Souza David Joshua, Khym Chan Pei-Jin, Jotham Teo Zi Kai, Chean XuanhuiI Tricia, Tan Lee Ken Corina

Abstract – The Amaurornis phoenicurus (White-breasted water hen) is part of the family of waterbirds which are influenced by water level fluctuations in their habitat (M. N. Rajpar & M. Zakaria, 2011). The reasons given were mainly due to food resources. Hence, we chose to focus our study on how climate would affect the foraging patterns of the water hen on a day to day basis. We observed the water hens across different climate conditions at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and observed curious patterns were leaning towards higher frequency of foraging during wetter climates and venturing further away from their nesting area. 

Group 24 – Hide and Feed: Plantain squirrel’s usage of visual cues to camouflage and feed

Presented by Evelyn Tan Wee En, How Wei Ling, Koh Wei Han Valerie, Lim Seow Hwee and Tan Ya Hui

Abstract – Plantain Squirrels (Callosciurus notatus) are distinguishable by their black-and-white strip along the sides of their body. They spend most of their time feeding. Research has shown that plantain squirrels are able to see colours, leading us to wonder whether visual cues aid in their feeding behaviour. Therefore, we hypothesize that squirrels will spend a longer duration on the tree feeding when the colour tone of the tree is similar to that of the squirrel’s fur. This is because squirrels will be able to camouflage themselves better on a similar colour tone tree and thus feed longer on the tree.

Group  25 – Frantic Fiddlers

Presented by Ho Wei Xuan Alexius, Dawn Tan Hui Qi, Chong Hong Li Jason, Deng Jian Lin Jolene, Tan Kai Ling

Abstract – Our group, the Frantic Fiddlers, will be observing the behaviour of male Uca Annulipes or commonly known as the porcelain fiddler crabs. Porcelain fiddler crabs can be commonly found on sandy parts near mangrove areas of our shores. We have developed our research questions to find out how male porcelain fiddler crabs display aggression towards male conspecifics and how do male porcelain fiddler crabs aggressive behavior differ from the size of other male conspecifics. We have concluded that the area of smaller males displaying aggression towards bigger males could be a topic that future research can focus on.

Group  26 – Lust and Hygiene in Long-Tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis)

Presented by Nur Atassha Bte Mohd Nasir, Nur’ain Bte Taha, Muhammad Farhan Bin Jamil, Ferninda Patrycia

Abstract – Is duration of grooming related to mating in long-tailed macaques? Grooming is not only about hygiene, but it is also a strategy to obtain mating opportunity and to reduce aggressive behaviors. Our observation showed that female to male grooming is longer in the prospect of mating compared to female to male grooming without mating. Unlike previous findings, we found that male to female grooming is shorter in the prospect of mating compared to male to female grooming without mating. Various factors, such as rank, female ovulation, and troop characteristics, will be discussed.

Group  27 – Calotes versicolour

Presented by Lim Qian Yu Madeleine, Koh Yen Ching Justine, Chua Mei Qi, Soh Yong Qi Cera, Quek Ying Qi

Abstract – Our research question is about how Calotes versicolour responds to different types of interferences. The interferences recorded in this research include wind, noise and human disturbance. Based on our 50 recorded observations, the results point to show that Calotes versicolour tend to react more violently to large rapid movements at a close range i.e. < 1m. However, they are largely unresponsive to sound. These behaviors could explain why they are highly adaptable to the urban environment in Singapore and have been the most widespread species of Calotes. 

Group 28 – Cranky Monkey: Response of long-tailed macaques to human approach.

Presented by Chionh Yun Jie Shermaine, Kerk Thing Thing , Lim Su Xin , Mok Wei Wu , Tan Yui Lin Joy

Abstract – Studies have found that feeding by humans lead long-tailed macaques to associate humans as food providers and exhibit aggressive behaviour to obtain food. In our study, we observed how three troops at Lower Pierce Reservoir respond (along the avoidance-aggression continuum) to humans’ approach. Variables investigated were the troop’s level of human interaction and the gender of the approaching human. Results reveal that (1) the troop with most human interaction is least avoidant, (2) all troops are less avoidant toward female than male humans, and (3) the effect of (1) is more pronounced toward female than male humans.

 

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Day 3,  Session 1
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02 April 2012: 10.00am – 12.00am.
Venue: LS Lab 7A
Panel: N. Sivasothi, Ariff Bin Abdul Aziz, Ong Say Lin and Marcus Chua

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Day 3,  Session 2
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02 April 2012: 10.00am – 12.00am.
Venue: LS Lab 7C
Panel: Dr Zeehan Jaafar, Erica Sena Neves, Chen Zijian Paul and Leong Chin Rick

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