Collaboration with Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research

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Since last night, the BESG website has adopted a new logo – that of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) LINK (see right hand corner of this page).

The presence of the logo indicates the close ties that has been forged between BESG and RMBR. Yesterday’s post announced the setting up of a mirror site at RMBR LINK. Today we give an account of our involvement with the Digital Nature Archive (DNA) that was launched by the Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the National University of Singapore yesterday afternoon LINK (above, from left: Prof Leo Tan who initiated the project; Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim; Mr Richard Hale representing Care-For-Nature Trust Fund of Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the sponsor; and Prof Peter Ng, Director of RMBR).

The DNA is a free online searchable digital database of Singapore’s natural heritage set up by the RMBR at the National University of Singapore LINK. It includes digital images, video clips, audio recordings and PDF of publications.

Students, educators, the general public as well as conservationists and scientists are free to make use of the images for personal or non-profit educational purposes only. The images shall not be republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted or otherwise distributed in any way, without the prior written permission of RMBR. The copyright watermark shall not be removed or altered in any way from the media. Users who require using the media without the watermark or requiring high resolution images may email their requests to Ms Wang Luan Keng at

Currently numbering nearly 2,000 images of plants, animals, habitats, activities and nature enthusiasts (scientists as well as citizen scientists), the archive of images will be gradually increased as more contributors come forward to donate their collections.

Take birds for example, where 91 species have so far been uploaded LINK. You can search by name (common or scientific). If you type “hornbill” you will get to the page on Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus), as this is the only species that has so far been completed LINK. The species has a description, range, locality and a map where the bird was sighted, general biology, diet, life cycle, ecological role, human use and references. Images of the bird, activities, habitats and places are also provided where available. Also where available, PDF copies of publications, video and audio clips are added.

BESG has been actively involved in linking up our sites on behaviour wherever relevant to make accounts in DNA as complete as possible. Our involvement also includes members contributing slides and video clips. So far Kwong Wai Chong LINK (above centre), Sun Chong Hong LINK (video clips), KC Tsang LINK (above left), Johnny Wee LINK (above right) and YC Wee LINK (images) have been involved. We hope others will come forward to volunteer their images, etc. Each image posted in the DNA has the copyright watermark of RMBR and the owner (who remains the owner of the image).

You can also read about BESG under activities LINK as well as about birdwatching in Singapore, including its history LINK. If you are interested in the recent publications on these two activities, both posts provide a list of PDFs that you can download.

BESG is constantly upgrading its activities so as not to stagnate and become irrelevant to the birdwatching community at large.

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