CELEBRATING EARTH DAY WITH A PENGUIN PLAY DATE AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Themed ‘Don’t Dump It, Aquatic Creatures Deserve A Clean Home’, primary school children and youths lead the charge to spread penguin conservation messages at the park.

Singapore, 20 April 2013 – With Earth Day and World Penguin Day falling just three days apart, Earth Day at Jurong Bird Park is particularly meaningful for a group of children and youths who have become conservation ambassadors with a determined focus on spreading the message of “Don’t Dump It, Aquatic Creatures Deserve A Clean Home”, aimed at protecting penguins and other marine creatures.

Coming together for ‘A Penguin Play Date’, students from Greenridge Primary School (GRPS) and youth volunteers created two gigantic penguin art pieces made of recycled materials at Jurong Bird Park. These art pieces take the form of a 3-metre tall 2D silhouette, and a sliding penguin sculpture. In addition, 12 primary school children between the ages of 9-11 manned craft stations in the park to teach park visitors what they know about penguins and how to protect these birds by minimising waste.

GRPS students took a month to collect about 600 recycled bottles for the play date. The recycled bottles are in both art pieces. The penguin silhouette shows how something as innocuous as a kids’ beverage bottle can go a long way in creating an artistic statement for the species. The other art piece, a 1-metre tall papier-mâché sliding penguin depicts the bird sliding freely on ice, is a sight often seen in the Antarctic region.

“Penguins are very cute, and I’m sad that they can die when people throw plastics into the sea without thinking of the other creatures which live there. We hope people will help to protect the penguins,” said Angel Chua, Primary 6 student, Greenridge Primary School.

Inviting the public – particularly young children – to join their play date, the students set up craft stations to teach visitors how to make a simple penguin craft out of recyclable toilet rolls, which participants could bring home. Students completed each roll with a conservation message about penguins.

To equip these youth conservation ambassadors with knowledge about these charismatic birds, a highly interactive Penguins and Pals workshop was organised on 13 March. At this session, they learnt more about different penguin species, their diet, how they adapt to temperate climates and how penguins seem to ‘fly’ in the water. These students also visited two of the world’s five endangered penguin species that live in Jurong Bird Park – the African penguin and the Humboldt penguin. To inspire more students in GRPS about conservation and ensuring a clean home for penguins and other marine creatures, the students involved in the Earth Day project with Bird Park will share their experiences school-wide during a school assembly talk.

May Lok, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “To interest and inspire youths about wildlife, we work very closely with schools and over the last five years, more than 85,000 students have gone through workshops such as Penguin and Pals. A Penguin Play Date is the perfect example of how students, when empowered with the right knowledge and skills, can lead the charge to drive conservation messages to their peers and families, and encourage them to think of ways to protect the homes penguins and marine creatures. These youths are the most ideal conservation ambassadors.”

Jurong Bird Park has successfully bred the African and king penguins. Three endangered African penguin chicks have successfully hatched since December 2010, with the latest hatching on 14 March 2013. This chick is the first in Jurong Bird Park to have undergone successful artificial incubation at the Breeding & Research Centre (BRC). Five king penguin chicks have hatched since 2008, and the Park is the first institution in South East Asia to successfully breed this species in captivity.

Visitors will be able to view both the papier-mâché sculpture and the 2D silhouette for a month from 20 April at Penguin Coast.

For more information on Jurong Bird Park, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg

With Earth Day and World Penguin Day falling just three days apart, Earth Day at Jurong Bird Park is particularly meaningful for a group of children and youths who have become conservation ambassadors with a determined focus on spreading the message of “Don’t Dump It, Aquatic Creatures Deserve A Clean Home”, aimed at protecting penguins and other marine creatures.

With Earth Day and World Penguin Day falling just three days apart, Earth Day at Jurong Bird Park is particularly meaningful for a group of children and youths who have become conservation ambassadors with a determined focus on spreading the message of “Don’t Dump It, Aquatic Creatures Deserve A Clean Home”, aimed at protecting penguins and other marine creatures.

Inviting the public – particularly young children – to join their play date, the students set up craft stations to teach visitors how to make a simple penguin craft out of recyclable toilet rolls, which participants could bring home.

Inviting the public – particularly young children – to join their play date, the students set up craft stations to teach visitors how to make a simple penguin craft out of recyclable toilet rolls, which participants could bring home.

Jurong Bird Park has successfully bred the African and king penguins. Three endangered African penguin chicks have successfully hatched since December 2010, with the latest hatching on 14 March 2013.

Jurong Bird Park has successfully bred the African and king penguins. Three endangered African penguin chicks have successfully hatched since December 2010, with the latest hatching on 14 March 2013.

EARTH DAY COMMEMORATED AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Earth Day took on special meaning for some students and parents from Greenridge Primary School today.

A group of 15 students, two teachers and five parents spent the day at Jurong Bird Park assembling and painting 40 bird houses, which will be used in the Park’s African Waterfall Aviary, Jungle Jewels and Southeast Asian Birds Aviary. These nest boxes will facilitate nesting of small birds such as love birds, starlings, magpie robins, fairy blue-birds, white-rumped shamas and zebra doves at the aviaries.

They also spent some time creating awareness about Earth Day and avian conservation amongst guests who visited the Park, teaching visitors how they could, in a few easy steps, create a bird feeder out of recycled drink cartons. Visitors took home these bird feeders, which are to be placed outdoors to attract birds like the common sparrows, mynahs, and maybe even the orioles and munias.

Muhd Ariffin (left) and schoolmate Atif, both 11 years of age, screw two bird houses together at the Bird Discovery Centre.

Loh Ying Xuan (left) and Nur Syafiqah, both 11 years of age, working together to assemble a bird house at the Bird Discovery Centre.

A young guest cuts open a drink carton to make the bird feeder after receiving instructions from Madam Chai Mee Yong and her seven year old daughter, Loh Ying Jie.

Mabel Ang, 12, assists a young guest who is starting to cut open a drink carton.

Young guests enjoying the Earth Day bird feeder handicraft session.

A HOUSE AND FOOD FOR THE BIRDS AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Students from Greenridge Primary assembled the wooden bird houses for the exhibits (left), and taught visitors to the Park as well. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 2 April 2012 – Complementing the Bird Park’s continued focus on conservation and education, and in conjunction with Earth Day 2012, 15 students from Greenridge Primary School will be at Jurong Bird Park on 21 April to build 40 bird houses. As an extension of the Earth Day project, several Greenridge Primary students, together with their parents, will be on hand to guide visitors to the park how they can make a simple bird feeder from drink cartons.

This is the second year students have offered their assistance to make the bird houses, also known as nest boxes, for Jurong Bird Park. It was a cause which the students identified with, and one of the Greenridge Primary students who took part in this last year is in Secondary 1 this year, but wanted to come down again to help in this project. “It was a wonderful journey for me because prior to the assembling of the birdhouses, we did some research on deforestation and were shocked to find the number of trees chopped down each day. It just made me wonder – while the trees are being chopped down how many animals or birds depending on the tree as their homes would have suffered. And these trees would have been cut down to make paper and even my books. So I thought this would be a little contribution, to assemble some bird houses for the birds,” commented Sadia Tasneem, 13 years old.

After making them with an Avian Supervisor’s assistance at the Bird Discovery Centre in the Bird Park, the students will also paint these nest boxes in earthy colours, complete with a rainforest theme. Several nest boxes will be placed in Greenridge Primary, as well as in Jurong Bird Park’s African Waterfall Aviary, Jungle Jewels and Southeast Asian Birds Aviary. These nest boxes will facilitate nesting of small birds such as love birds, starlings, magpie robins, fairy blue-birds, white- rumped shamas and zebra doves at the aviaries.

“We provide these nest boxes during breeding season to minimise aggression and competition amongst the birds for nesting sites. The birds like having a secure, comfortable place to breed – we have seen a take up rate of about 80-90% every season for these nest boxes. Greenridge Primary was one of two schools who worked with us on this project last year, and we would like to thank them for their continued support towards our programmes,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park.

On the same day, members of the public can take part in a free recycled bird feeder activity* led by the primary school students and their parents at the Penguin Coast exhibit, located within the Bird Park. By applying some craftwork on the readily available nondescript drink carton, it becomes a simple bird feeder which visitors can take home with them to be placed outdoors to attract birds like the common sparrows, mynahs, and maybe even the orioles and munias. Materials for the activity are on a first come first served basis, so fly by Jurong Bird Park on 21 April!

Event details:
Bird Feeder craft activity
Date: 21 April 2012 (Saturday)
Time: 11.30am – 2pm
Location: Penguin Coast
* Only the Bird Feeder activity is open to the public, and normal admission charges to Jurong Bird Park apply.

Build a Birdhouse
Date: 21 April 2012 (Saturday)
Time: 9am – 3pm
Location: Bird Discovery Centre (closed door event)

SINGAPORE ZOO LAUNCHES FIRST CHINESE MOBILE INTERACTIVE TRAIL

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Singapore, 24 October 2011Singapore Zoo, one of four wildlife parks managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) including the first river-themed attraction River Safari, goes digital with the launch of a Chinese mobile interactive trail for students. This exciting visitor experience uses location-based and Image Recognition Technology to create new learning activities for children at the zoo.

The trail employs the neumind approach, which focuses on visual recognition, and promotes words recognition, powerful memory ability and Chinese literary appreciation.

Today, 30 children from Greenridge Primary School will be among the first to try out this new mobile trail, which allows students to observe, explore and discover fascinating facts about the wildlife at the park. Instead of park guides and worksheets, trail participants will be equipped with specially configured smart phones. Pre-loaded content will be triggered by the phones’ Global Positioning System (GPS) as they move around the park.

Upon arriving at a designated site, such as the Wild Africa exhibit for example, the mobile phones will come alive with specific instructions prompting participants to conduct a mini treasure-hunt to look for a specific object within an animal enclosure. Taking a picture of the correct object will enable the children to access imbedded interactive content related to the specific animal at the exhibit. This includes fascinating video clips showing zebras escaping attacks, cheetahs running at top speed and rhinos marking their territories.

“We are very excited about introducing this first of its kind student experience which places great emphasis on real-life usage and interaction skills through the learning of the Chinese language. We are confident this digital generation of young people will appreciate the interactivity and rich content provided by this mobile trail. At the same time, we hope they will take away valuable lessons about wildlife and conservation while becoming proficient and comfortable users of the language.” said Ms May Lok, Director for Education, WRS.

The initiative is a collaboration between Wildlife Reserves Singapore, LDR Pte Ltd, CEOlution Pte Ltd and Neumind Learning Centre. Currently, the programme is only available to school groups. For more information, please contact the education department at eduadm.zoo@wrs.com.sg.

A Greenridge Primary School student completing an exercise about the cheetah while admiring the sleek cat during the launch of the Chinese mobile interactive trail

Students from Greenridge Primary School proudly displaying a completed activity about the zebra on their hand-held device.

How do giraffes drink? Students from Greenridge Primary School taking a video to demonstrate this, as part of an activity during the launch of the Chinese mobile interactive trail.

ROOM FOR RENT!

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STUDENTS FROM NANYANG POLY AND GREENRIDGE PRIMARY BUILT 40 BIRD HOUSES TO COMMEMORATE EARTH DAY 2011 AND JURONG BIRD PARK’S 40TH BIRTHDAY

SINGAPORE, 13 April 2011 – In conjunction with Earth Day 2011 and Jurong Bird Park’s 40th anniversary, the Bird Park collaborated with 26 students from Nanyang Polytechnic and Greenridge Primary School to build 40 bird houses to be placed at its aviaries and the schools. Guided by Avian Supervisor Mr Gan Keng Tiong, students did not only assemble these nest boxes, they also discovered the significance of avian conservation in an urban environment.

On 22 March, the team came together to build the bird houses, which were later painted and placed at the African Waterfall Aviary and Southeast Asian Aviary at the Bird Park, as well as the respective schools. These bird houses are aimed at encouraging the nesting of smaller birds such as starlings and lovebirds.

Coming up on 23 April, students will be at the Penguin Coast exhibit in Jurong Bird Park to assist visitors with making the bird houses. Visitors can bring back their creations and it is hoped that through this simple exercise, they will gain an understanding of how in an urban landscape, birds still need places to nest in.

Students from Greenridge Primary School making their first attempt at assembling the bird house, while taking instructions from the Avian Supervisor. These wood pieces were cut into different pieces and screwed on during assembly.

Teamwork is key to building the 40 bird houses. Not only did the students from Nanyang Polytechnic help each other during the workshop, the tertiary students were also mentors and role models to the younger students.

Brown and black were some of the earth tones selected for the bird houses that were placed in the Southeast Asian aviary. The painted nest boxes were placed only at this particular aviary as the birds are not known to nibble and scrape off the paint.

Despite the rain during the workshop, young conservationists were hard at work with the painting of the nest boxes which they brought back to Greenridge Primary School.

The collaboration and hard work of 26 students, including teacher Mr Rajangam Arivalagan from Greenridge Primary School ended with smiles as they students posed for a photo with their nest boxes.

1 BIRD PARK, 40 BIRD HOUSES!

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JURONG BIRD PARK TEAMS UP WITH STUDENTS TO BUILD BIRDHOUSES TO ENCOURAGE NESTING

Singapore, 22 March 2011 – In conjunction with Earth Day 2011 and Jurong Bird Park’s 40th anniversary, the world’s largest bird park is working with students from Nanyang Polytechnic and Greenridge Primary School to build 40 bird houses. Some of the bird houses will be placed in the two schools, as well as in Jurong Bird Park’s African Waterfall Aviary and Southeast Asian Birds Aviary, and are a part of the Park’s ongoing efforts towards conservation and education.

These bird houses, also known as nest boxes, will advocate nesting of small birds such as love birds, starlings, magpie robins, fairy blue-birds, and white-rumped shamas at the aviaries. Such bird houses are presently provided in the aviaries to minimise aggression and competition for nesting sites when breeding season comes round. These bird houses have proven to be popular, with 80-90% of them utilised every season.

On 22 March, an avian keeper will teach and supervise students as they build and paint the bird houses at a day learning session. Held at the Bird Discovery Centre in the Bird Park, students will have the opportunity to learn more about the different species of birds, nature and habitats available at the park. Members of the public are also invited to visit the park a day after Earth Day on 23 April 2011, where the students will get a chance to engage visitors and assist them in building individual bird houses.

“Jurong Bird Park has evolved from a recreational park into a centre for bird life, with a strong focus on education and conservation. Education plays a pivotal role in the area of conservation and we believe it is crucial for all our guests to be aware of, and understand the importance of biodiversity. Through this, we hope this will inspire our guests, even the very young, to develop a passion for bird life,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

She added, “Bird houses are considered scientific tools when used properly since a great deal of learning can be done by observing birds in them. A good example is the bird house we designed for the Oriental pied hornbill project which led to a successful nationwide re-introduction programme. Bird houses also play an important role in the conservation of birds in heavily populated urban areas like Singapore where very few natural nesting places are found. Birds have different physical and behavioral needs, thus there is not one bird house that is suitable to all. The types of birds that will nest on a garden, yard or property are largely determined by the habitat. As such, a mixture of habitats may attract a greater number of birds back to Singapore. I hope more schools and organisations will come forward to build more bird houses to revive bird life in Singapore.”

As part of this project, Nanyang Polytechnic and Greenridge Primary School will be placing three and five bird houses respectively, on their school compound. These bird houses are targeted to provide a habitat for magpie robins to nest.

“Getting our students to be involved in the bird house project is a small but important step in bringing them closer to nature and especially in caring for our feathered friends. This project will certainly get the students to think about creative ways in making bird houses, and we look forward to their excitement when the schoolyard evolves from a simple garden to a sensorial environment where students can actually get closer to bird life,” said Mrs Chew Lai Mun, Principal, Greenridge Primary School.

Bird houses that will be placed in the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary are painted in earth tones such as khaki green, brown and black, with illustrations of rainforest elements. Although non¬toxic paint is used, bird houses are not painted for the African Waterfall Aviary due to the differences in behavioural characteristics of the birds. Birds in the African Waterfall Aviary have strong beaks, and there is the possibility of them nibbling and scraping off the paint, while their counterparts in the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary have soft bills, which minimise that possibility.

Greenridge Primary students hard at work assembling

Primary students adding colour to the assembled bird houses

A sea of happy faces

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