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New nature corridor for wildlife identified in Clementi for ecological connectivity

SINGAPORE: A new nature corridor for wildlife has been identified in Clementi, with further studies to be done on the route animals may take through the area.

Announcing this on Friday (Jul 30), the National Parks Board (NParks) said that the Clementi Nature Corridor provides ecological connectivity between Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Southern Ridges.

It comprises forested sites at Clementi, Toh Tuck and Maju, as well as the Rail Corridor. It also adds to the previously established Nature Park Network at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Bukit Batok Nature Corridor, said NParks.

The agency said that the corridor was conceptualised based on the ecological profile of the area, alongside input from a scientific advisory panel as part of NParks’ islandwide Ecological Profiling Exercise (EPE).

 

READ: Government will ‘proceed with care’ when developing near areas of rich biodiversity: Desmond Lee

 

The islandwide EPE, announced in February, aims to map the profiles of green areas across Singapore to better understand their role in biodiversity and ecological connectivity. The latter refers to the movement of wildlife between key habitats.

The exercise also aims to strengthen NParks’ existing research and data models, and guide agencies in their overall approach for longer-term planning.

With the identification of Clementi Nature Corridor, NParks will continue to study the area to identify refugia – or habitats that support certain species - and “connectivity routes upstream in the land-use planning process”.

“This will allow ecological connectivity in the area to be maintained, even if developments take place in the area in future,” it said.

ECOLOGICAL PROFILING FOR CLEMENTI-ULU PANDAN AREA

A map showing the two ecological connections between Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Southern Ridges. According to NParks, these are indicative plans and the visuals are for illustrative purposes only. (Photo: NParks)

Through the EPE, NParks had identified “source habitats” and nature corridors in the Clementi-Ulu Pandan area.

Findings showed that there are two main ecological connections between Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Southern Ridges. The first goes along the Rail Corridor, and NParks said it will continue to carry out habitat enhancements to provide a “seamless and safe connection for wildlife”.

“These measures, which include reforestation efforts and the strategic placement of reflectors instead of night lighting, will further strengthen ecological connectivity along the Rail Corridor,” it said.

The second connection goes through forested sites at Toh Tuck, Maju and Clementi. NParks said it will continue to study the “primary spine of ecological connectivity” along this area while referencing baseline biodiversity studies that have been conducted for these areas.

“There are no immediate development plans for the Toh Tuck and Maju sites, and no immediate plans for residential developments at the Clementi site,” it added.

NParks also said that the ecological profile of the area will take into account future transport infrastructure options, which will support existing schools and residential estates in the area. The Land Transport Authority is currently engaging nature groups on these options, it added.

 

READ: Plans for Ulu Pandan revised: A third of Dover Forest set aside for public housing, nature park to be established

 

HABITAT ENHANCEMENT EFFORTS FOR ULU PANDAN WEST SITE

The Clementi Nature Corridor will be linked to a nature park planned for the western side of Ulu Pandan.

The nature park was announced by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Friday, as part of revised plans for Ulu Pandan following feedback from nature groups and the public.

It will serve as a “stepping-stone” for wildlife between Clementi Forest and the Southern Ridges, said NParks.

 

READ: Commentary: Save forests or build 4-rooms? It’s not a zero-sum game

 

To strengthen the area’s “ecological resilience and biodiversity value”, forest restoration and habitat enhancement works will be conducted, NParks added.

“The higher quality vegetation on site will also be retained and serve as habitats for wildlife, allowing Ulu Pandan west greenfield site to serve as a stepping-stone for ecological connectivity.”

To get the community involved in strengthening the area’s ecological resilience, a new group called Friends of Ulu Pandan will be formed.

“This is in line with the vision to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, for which community stewardship is a key thrust,” said NParks.

Source: CNA/ec

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