Sharing the passion for our shores

"Her interest in marine biology was sparked after she attended a United Nations Conference commemorating the International Day of the Ocean 1998 during her junior college days."

Today, Siti works for marine conservation in Singapore at the NParks National Biodiversity Reference Centre and plays a lead role in TeamSeagrass, volunteers monitoring Singapore's seagrasses

Siti's story was featured "Passionate about Nature" by Raymond Poon, Straits Times Recruit 29 Mar 08.

Here's some excerpts...

Nature lover Siti Maryam wants to spread the conservation message so that more people will join the effort to protect the environment.

As a senior biodiversity officer at the Biodiversity Centre, she studies seagrass and mangrove habitats. Monitoring the health of these habitats is long-term work as it involves establishing trends, which require time frames of at least three years, she says.

For example, just because seagrass is dying does not mean something has adversely affected its environment. Instead, it could be part of the natural seasonal cycle of growth and decay.

In mangrove swamps, she monitors signs like tree height, condition of tree leaves and populations of mangrove residents like birds, snails and crabs.

She hope more people will join the conservation effort as the major threats to nature are man-made.

One big problem is marine litter. Says Ms Siti: "It gets really bad for mangroves because they are in sheltered areas, so all this rubbish gets trapped there and it smothers the animals."

Poaching is another big issue. "We see people in little boats go to seagrass areas and put traps there," she says, "since seagrasses are home to edible kinds of small fish."

Read the full article on the teamseagrass blog!

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