Norman Lim T-Lon


Before embarking on my Masters programme in Ecolab, Prof Ng was kind enough to accept me as a student for UROPS (an undergraduate research module) and subsequently Honours. There is nothing surprising about this; except that I only wanted to work on the Malayan Colugo (Cynocephalus variegatus) and not crabs. Luckily, Prof Ng did not attempt to persuade me to do otherwise. After graduation, the conducive environment in Ecolab and the friendly labmates led on to my Masters project in the same lab.

Project Title: Autecology of the Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica) in Singapore

Summary: The Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica), like its other congeners, is a little-known species and is on the C.I.T.E.S. Appendix II with “zero trade quota” in most countries. However, there is a great “underground” demand for pangolins for their meat and scales and all indications are that there is heavy hunting pressure in Peninsular Malaysia.

Given their highly specialized diet of ants and termites, pangolins have an important ecological niche of influencing a major component of the forest fauna and thus affecting the nutrient-recycling dynamics. Pangolins, however, survive poorly in captivity, mainly because we know so little about their wild habitats and ecology. I.U.C.N. Pangolin Specialist group states that although data are limited, all Asian pangolins appear to be affected by loss of habitat due to expanding agriculture. Lastly, scientific information regarding their ecology, prey preferences and habitat selection which are essential for threat prioritization, conservation strategy development and the establishment and implementation of sound conservation plans are seriously lacking.

This project aims to investigate the habitat requirements of the Malayan pangolin via radio telemetry, standardized census techniques and observation of tagged individuals in the field.

Scientific Publications:

Lim, N.T-L., A.W.M. Yeo and K.W. Chan, 2006. Microhyla fissipes (narrowmouth frog) (Geographical distribution). Herpetological Review 37 (1): 101.

Lim, K.P. and N.T-L. Lim, 2006. Luperosaurus browni (Brown’s flap-legged gecko) (Geographical distribution). Herpetological Review 37 (1): 107.

Lim, N.T-L. & P.K.L. Ng (submitted). Predation of a wild Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica) by a Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) in Singapore. Mammalia.

Luo, S.-J., Q.-X. Cai, V.A. David, L. Zhang, P. Martelli, N.T-L. Lim, N. Ferrand, S.-C. Chin, P. Gaubert, S.J. O’Brien, A. Antunes & W.E. Johnson (submitted). Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers in the Pangolin (Manis sp.), the scaly anteater. Molecular Ecology notes.

Magazines and books:

Lim, N.T-L., 2005. Flying Lemurs and their long-term viability in Singapore. NatureWatch 13 (3): 10-15.

Lim, N.T-L. (in press). A spiny revelation. NatureWatch.

Lim, N.T-L. (in prep.). The Colugos (Draco Publishing: Singapore).


im, N.T-L. and P.K.L. Ng. Habitat requirements and a preliminary population census of the Malayan flying lemur Cynocephalus variegatus (Mammalia: Dermoptera) in Singapore. Conference presentation to Biology in Asia held at the National Institute of Education, Singapore, Dec 2004.

Lim, N.T-L. and P.K.L. Ng. Autecology of the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica) in Singapore. Poster presentation to 15 th Annual Philippine Biodiversity Symposium at Legend Hotel, Palawan, Philippines, 5-8 April 2006.



 MJ17 in drain

 pangolin running