27 May (Sun): Talk on "Development History of the past 200 years and its effect on Habitat Loss"

The development of Singapore began in the late 1700s with the arrival of Teo Chew gambier planters from the Riau Islands. Their shifting cultivation practices and lack of management by the colonial authorities almost resulted in a total loss of the lowland Dipterocarp forests by the mid 1800s. During the early 1900s, an ever increasing population and demand for food resulted in the loss of Freshwater Swamp Forest as the fertile alluvial soils of the stream valleys were sought after for market gardening. Mangrove areas had always been logged for charcoal production and building materials however the habitat more or less remained in place until the 1970s when land reclamation for industrial and residential purpose took its toll. This presentation will include historical maps and archived aerial photos to track the land use changes over time. These will be contrasted with modern satellite images to illustrate the extent of change that the island has undergone.

About the speaker: Tony O' Dempsey has been working in the Geographic Information System (GIS) Industry in Singapore for the past 18 years and has taken a keen interest in both cultural and natural history of the region. He is particularly interested in the flora and conservation of Freshwater Swamp Forest habitat. Tony is the author of www.florasingapura.com and is currently the chairman of the Vertebrate Study Group of the Nature Society (Singapore).

This talk is part of the Festival of Biodiversity! The passionate nature community comes together to share the mind-boggling biodiversity from our forests to seashores, even our backyards and parks!  

Time: 2-2.45pm
Venue: Function Hall, Singapore Botanic Gardens location map
Website and contact: http://festivalofbiodiversitysingapore.wordpress.com/programme/concurrent-events/talks/

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