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  wild people: Subaraj

It is so appropriate that the last of the individual wild people featured on my NDP moblog is the one I aspire to be.

As I have always told Subaraj: he is the guide I want to be when I grow up.

When I walk by the side of this gentle giant, I feel like a child again: learning, seeing and feeling.

The innocent joy of finding a small jewel of nature. Opening our eyes to the beauty around us, and our hearts to a better understanding of nature's place in our lives. To me, he is the epitome of a nature guide.

I am in awe of his astounding breadth and depth of knowledge of nature. But what is more special to me is his deep Understanding of nature. An understanding that I now know can come only to someone who who lives and breathes nature.

Subaraj's passion to share this love for nature, and make a difference is infectious. Through his own quiet example, others have been inspired to also do their part to give back to nature.

Here is more about Subaraj in his own words ...

I am one of the lucky few who was born with an interest in animals. As such, I spent my childhood years collecting animal pictures and watching wildlife documentaries before moving on to keeping a variety of small animals as pets and reading books with an animal theme. Gerald Durrell was an inspiration and it is one of my main regrets that I shall never have the privelage of meeting him.

It wasn't until 1981 that I made my first nature hike, to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, with a college mate. It was the occasion that stilled my restless heart and I have never taken a step back. Wanting to discover and learn more, I spent most of the 1980s wandering around the natural habitats of Singapore and Malaysia, mainly on my own, with frequent visits to the library to identify the many wonderful animals that I encountered. Of course, there have been a fair share of disappointments as well and it is always heart-renching to see a nature area disappear!

At the end of the day, I can say that nature is a lifestyle for me. I professionally lead natural history & birding tours, carry out field surveys and act as consultant and presenter on nature programmes; In my spare time, I carry out surveys & documentation on wildlife and if I have any free time, they are also spent in the field watching wildlife!

It gives me great satisfaction to survey wildlife to increase our knowledge and understanding about them; to provide data and feedback to try and save as well as manage nature areas for the wildlife; and to show others the wildlife that I love & enjoy and re-live the joy and excitement of seeing them over and over again through different people's eyes.

My interest in animals will always be part of me and although I specialise in the study of birds and mammals, I have also studied & surveyed reptiles, amphibians, freshwater & marine fish, butterflies and dragonflies. There is always more to learn and this thirst of knowledge will continue for the rest of my life.

Professionally, Subaraj freelances as a natural history consultant & guide. He has been taking visiting birdwatchers out on tours since 1988 and in 1990, became a licensed tourist guide with the STB. Since then, he has run specialised natural history tours.

Subaraj also works as a natural history consultant for the various nature programmes and professional surveys. He conducts bird and wildlife studies and surveys in the field, as well as helping in the filming and presenting of wildlife programmes for television, and a wide variety of nature and wildlife programmes in Singapore and Malaysia. You can email Subaraj at serin@swiftech.com.sg or call him at 9-650-5183 (handphone).

Subaraj has long been involved as a volunteer for nature; leading in much advocacy and research work. He was an MNS (later NSS) member since 1985 and served the Bird Group for a decade, helped start the Conservation Group and started the Vertebrate Study Group, which he chaired for the first three years and is still very much involved in. He has been involved in many projects with the various groups including the successful proposal of Sungei Buloh, the successful EIA of Lower Peirce, surveying the birdlife of Endau-Rompin and animal surveys in various sites including the Central Nature Reserves, Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong.

Subaraj is also involved in a variety of field surveys for NParks and sat on a few NParks committees including the Nature Reserves Committee and the current 2012 Conserving Nature Committee. He has been a volunteer Nature Warden for over a decade. Subaraj has also worked with the National University of Singapore (NUS) carrying out a number of bird surveys including the Forest Fragment Survey.

Posted by grayowl Posted on 26/08/04 11:40
Subaraj is one guy who has the patience to share his knowledge even to a dumb-headed like me. (^^) Joined him in a Fraser's Hill recce before one of the bird races. Learnt a lot from him. His enthusiasms will certainly rub off on you. I am still marvelling how he could watch birds while the leeches are crawling up his feet. (^^) He was looking up and I was looking down. (^^)

More on how YOU can make a difference too...

these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
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