The BESG website is now under the control of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore. Eventually a stable mirror site will develop. This major move is courtesy of Prof Peter KL Ng, Director of RMBR (below left). N Sivasothi (below centre-left), Kenneth Pinto and Chua Keng Soon (below centre-right) are providing the expertise for the move.
Prof Ng made the announcement this afternoon at the official Launch of “Private Lives: An Exposé of Singapore’s Rainforests” and the “Digital Nature Archive of Singapore” with the Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim was in attendance as Guest-of-Honour.
This move is necessary to ensure stability and continuity of the website. Since its establishment in July 2007 the website has posted nearly 2,500 accounts of bird behaviour and related subjects. At the same time it has attracted a total of nearly 3 million visits from bird and nature enthusiasts from all over the world.
Such a massive and popular website attracts numerous spammers hoping to benefit from our traffic. At the same time the site has been experiencing link rot and image disappearance. The site urgently needs housekeeping to bring the many posts up to date. Though tedious and time consuming, housekeeping needs to be done to maintain the quality and integrity of the website. After all, the website had become a valuable database on bird behaviour, not only to Singapore and the region, but also to the world at large.
Currently, N Sivasothi and Dr Zeehan Jaafar (above right), both from the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, are making full use of the website in their cross-faculty courses. The website is the resource where the students search for aspects of ecology and animal behaviour. Being non-biology students, they have a better chance of understanding the generally non-technical style of writings than if they are to refer to scientific papers in journals.
The question of continuity is another crucial matter. The website should continue even when the current group of activists fade into the background. Under the control of RMBR, there is a good possibility of the website continuing to operate should such a scenario becomes a reality.
At the same time the primary site is being maintained courtesy of Jacqueline Lau who has been hosting it all this time.
BESG aims to continue to make information on bird ecology collated by citizen scientists available to anyone from any part of the world with access to a computer. This will be BESG’s contribution to ornithology.