Since starting this blog, I’m really glad to be meeting some interesting people. I’m especially happy when I meet teenagers who share my passion. Tanvi, who writes and documents her experiences at MacRitchie Reservoir Park on her blog,shares some of her background and what she aims to do with her blog and pictures. I really enjoy reading her blog and hope that we can all join her in trying to preserve and protect MacRitchie Park, a beautiful, rich and biodiverse place in Singapore.
Lavanya: How did you get passionate about nature and environment in general?
Tanvi: It started with a butterfly guide and Project Noah (which is an amazing site for sharing wildlife photographs). And the discovery that my school has a rainforest within its premises. I’ve always been passionate about conserving the environment but it was only after the discovery that the animals to save were not in far-off secluded nature reserves but indeed all around me and that I had the tool to help them right in at my fingertips that I really took off.
Lavanya: Why did you start the blog “Save MacRitchie”?
Tanvi: I’ve been going for the Love MacRitchie walks for months now, and I had so many photos that were received well amongst friends and teachers that I decided to put them to good use and share them with the world!
Lavanya: What do you hope to share through your blog and pictures?
Tanvi: We are surrounded by beauty we rarely notice, and if we do, rarely care for. I hope to share a love for nature and the ability to find the beauty in the smallest things, like raindrops on fungi. My blog is dedicated specifically at raising awareness of MacRitchie but really I’m trying to communicate a message that is applicable everywhere: we are surrounded by precious biodiverse treasures.
Lavanya: Why do you think it is so important to preserve such places, especially in Singapore?
Tanvi: Singapore is a tiny place. Despite that, it contains so much; we have some five endemic species even here. But most people who come come for the Flyer or Marina Bay Sands or shopping. If they passed through MacRitchie, all they’d register was green, and maybe, if the Cross-Island Line goes through, “How convenient there’s a train going everywhere!” What they won’t realize is that the loud sound they heard was the internationally near-threatened grey headed fish eagle. What they won’t realize is hiding just around the corner was an endangered colugo. People don’t know. And they should. MacRitchie should be preserved for future generations and for us and for everyone because people just don’t realize the beauty they have till it’s gone.
Lavanya: Do you think it is important that youths today should connect with nature? Why?
Tanvi: It’s the most important thing. If youths don’t connect with nature, they’ll grow up in a world of grey, finding entertainment in online games and other such things. And they’ll have no idea the treasure they had till it’s gone. NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) has reached endemic proportions and rainforests are regarded as ‘disgusting’ because of all the, yuck, mosquitoes. If we grow up without a connection to nature, we won’t understand our planet, and we won’t appreciate it, and that way, we can’t treasure it.
Lavanya: Tell us about some of your favourite creatures at Macritchie:
L: Your favourite insect…
T: I’d say the Imperial Tit for butterflies, and the Common Parasol for dragonflies.
L: Your favorite bird...
T: The Blue-eared kingfisher. Never seen it, but it’s way at the top of my to-see list at Macritchie and the pictures I have seen are absolutely stunning.
L: Your favourite mammal…
T: That’s easy. Colugos, or, the Sumatran flying lemur. Again, never seen, but I’m on the lookout every time I go to MacRitchie.
L: What creature would like to see at Macritchie?
T: Colugos, as I mentioned, blue-eared kingfishers, a pangolin would be awesome but likely not achievable, a clouded leopard cat would be beyond belief, as would a civet (someone stop me before I list every single species found in MacRitchie).
*All photos by Tanvi
Her blog: Save Macritchie
Her blog with experiences outside MacRitchie: Somewhere Up A Tree