For us, it seems like 2015 ended with a subtle bang. The last quarter of the year was peppered with a flurry of activities concerning outreach and awareness, but upon taking a step back and reflecting on the whole of the year, there is always a nagging question at the back of our minds, “Have we done enough?”
One big positive is that generally, the local and international schools in Singapore seem to be more keen in educating their students on the local biodiversity as well as fostering appreciation and compassion for the native wildlife. Therefore, many schools have requested for us to share on other animals that inhabit our island as well. It is a phenomenon that we greatly welcome as it opens a whole new world of Singapore wildlife unbeknownst to the students prior and thus provides an introduction to important conservation issues.
Speaking up for the civets and making a difference with each presentation! (Anti-clockwise: Students from Victoria School, CHIJ St Theresa, West Grove Primary School and MacPherson Primary School had a good time learning about our last wild, native urban carnivore!)
2015 was also a year in which we met many like-minded individuals who projected their concerns over the survival of the civets in Singapore. We participated in events such as the Festival of Biodiversity, Ubin Day, and Science Carnivals organised by schools, all of which served as a platform to connect with these individuals who wanted to know more about the roles that they can play in helping the conservation of this species. On the same scale, we also managed to reach out to many residents in civet hotspot areas to share with them the measures which they can take in the event of encountering a civet in their home. This is important for us (and the civets) as we hope to discourage trapping as a means of removing civets from the premises should their presence not be welcomed.
Hopefully, 2016 will be an even more fruitful year for us and the civets. We do hope to continually increase our outreach efforts through school talks and roadshows, but we are also looking into other alternatives which we can harness to create awareness of the civet as well as the threats that they face. We hope to reveal the project which we’ve been working on very soon, and we can’t wait!