Bee Gardens

from Biodiversity Gardens Capacity Building Workshop with Dr Noraini Bahari Dr Noraini Bahari is a member of MY Bee Savior. She was a landscape architect at USIM for six years and is currently a senior lecturer at UiTM, Perak. Bees today MY Bee Savior Association is an NGO that was established in 2015 to create…

Biodiversity Gardening

from Biodiversity Gardens Capacity Building Workshop with Tan Kai Ren Tan Kai Ren was the project officer of the Rimba Project in University of Malaya where he conducted a series of urban biodiversity conservation and education programmes. He also organised the Klang Valley City Nature Challenge in 2019, a citizen science project that focused on…

Pollinators: Flies

This is a continuation of our series on pollinators. In this article I will cover flies, often overlooked pollinators of many plants. As usual, keep in mind that a lot of the plant examples are not exclusively pollinated by a single pollinator. Often there can be several different pollinators visiting the same type of flower.…

Pollinators: Bees and Wasps

Often people ask me about how to make their gardens pollinator friendly. This is a tough question, because there are so many different types of pollinators. Guides usually don’t have all of them in one place. Here, I’ll explain the categories of pollinators that visit plants, as well as the characteristics of the flowers that…

Butterfly Gardens

from Biodiversity Gardens Capacity Building Workshop with Dr Cyren Wong Zhi Hoong Dr. Cyren is an ecological anthropologist and ethnozoologist who studies the relationship between human society and the natural environment. He is also a lepidopterist who specialises in the study of butterflies & moths. One of the chapters of his PhD research focuses on…

A Beginner Butterfly Garden

A beginner’s butterfly garden uses host plants and flowering plants that grow wild. Shade is not an issue for many of these butterfly species here since they are adapted to living in hot open areas. Because this garden uses wild plants, it requires almost zero maintenance (except for occasional trimming). For aesthetic value, you can…

okra ladybird beetle pest

Urban Farming

from Biodiversity Gardens Capacity Building Workshop with Low Shao-Lyn, Eats, Shoots and Roots (Co-founder and Design Director) Low Shao-Lyn from Eats, Shoots and Roots has shared with us her personal journey in urban farming. Realities of urban farming We have to understand the life cycle of plants as plants will eventually die. Therefore, manage your…

Butterfly Gardens: Key Concepts

Butterflies are nice to have in a garden, they help to make it feel alive with colour and movement. They also become food for birds and carry out important pollination of plants. To have butterflies in a garden, you have to meet the requirements of butterflies. In no particular order, the requirements are: host plants…

damselfly

What is rewilding?

The term rewilding has been thrown about a lot quite recently but in many cases, the term has been misused to just be about planting trees. Here I explain how ecologists view rewilding, as well as important concepts required to understand rewilding. This is somewhat a summary of a review paper by Perino et al.…

gliding lizard

Gliding lizards and how disturbance helps biodiversity

Draco gliding lizards are interesting tropical animals. They have ‘wings’ that fold out from their ribs and allow them to glide from tree to tree. They also have a small flap under their chins that acts as both a flag to communicate and like the tail of a plane to stabilise their flight. When I…

Wildflower meadows in Malaysia, a beginners guide

Naturally occurring wildflower patches are the first step in succession. These small sun loving plants are usually the first to colonise bare land. They then help to regenerate the soil and make it suitable for secondary vegetation like shrubs and small trees to grow. It should be stated that modern wildflower meadows are not native…

plant shoot road

Biodiversity in Cities

In recent years, ecologists have begun to take a second look at plants and animals appearing in cities. There seems to be more ‘nature’ in urban areas than one would expect. Cities are supposed to be human territories—steel, brick and concrete—not exactly welcoming to wildlife. But urban places display a variety of species and habitats…

Oikos: An introduction to ecology

Sometime in the 19th century, Ernest Haeckel, a naturalist, came up with the word ‘ecology’ to draw attention to something that he thought was important: the ‘entire relations’ of an organism. By this, he meant that it was not enough to study one plant or animal species at a time. He believed it was important…

soil beneath vegetation

Saving the Underground Farmers: Soil Ecosystems

Have you ever noticed the earth that you step on? It is where we get materials essential to our survival. It is soil that supports the growth of plants, the producers of the food chain and the sources of fibre, fodder, and fuel. At first look, it seems static and lifeless. In fact, soil hosts…

Fig Trees in Town

Fig fruitImage by Couleur from Pixabay We might not all recognize them, and we might not recognize all of them but fig trees are among the native flora that have come to settle in cities with us. Some are intentionally planted in urban areas, while others continue to appear spontaneously, self-sowing, even in the less…

The City Tree

Most days, a city tree is just a tree. It stands there, out of the way, but close enough if you need a shaded parking or walk. Other days, a tree will make one pause and wonder. Cities all over the world remember to add trees to their streets and build parks from scratch to…