Blurred Lines: Navigating the Space Between Native and Non-native

The Asian Koel is today one of Singapore’s most numerous urban species, but did you know that it was previously only found as a migrant?

The Singapore Birds Project recently participated in a conference organised by the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (ARI, NUS). Titled “Learning from Aliens: New Directions in Environmental Humanities Research and Practice”, speakers from numerous fields extending from science, history, to art and poetry shared their perspectives on “aliens” in biodiversity settings. During the conference, Keita and Movin shared about birds in Singapore and discussed the complexities of classifying “non-native” and “native” species in the highly modified local landscape. The Asian Koel’s history in Singapore is also covered. We’ve uploaded our talk on Youtube so do check it out if you were unable to attend!

We would like to extend a massive thanks to everyone from ARI and Yale-NUS who organised this event, all the speakers for the insightful perspectives, and most importantly Anthony for inviting us. We’re also looking forward to future collaborations 🙂

ARI is organising an upcoming conference on Singapore’s Biodiversity History that you can attend for free (either in person or via zoom) on 13 and 14 July. More information can be found here! The Singapore Birds Project will not be a part of this but established speakers from various fields will be there, so do check it out!

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