Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat will be conserved as a Nature Park
07 Oct 2018
- Research and education opportunities will be provided, with the aim of increasing awareness and stewardship of its rich biodiversity
In conjunction with the World Migratory Bird Day next weekend and the 25th anniversary of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the National Parks Board (NParks) today announced that Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat will be conserved as a Nature Park. Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat is situated about 3 km to the east of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and is one of the richest wetlands in Singapore. Collectively, the Wetland Reserve, Kranji Marshes and the new Nature Park safeguard a variety of complementary wetland habitats, including mangroves, mudflats and freshwater marshes, strengthening the conservation of wetland biodiversity in the northwestern part of Singapore. (Refer to Annex for map of wetland habitats)
Ecologically linked to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the 72.8-hectare Nature Park will enhance the Reserve’s ecological capacity in wetland and migratory shorebird conservation. NParks will sensitively provide opportunities for research and education in the Nature Park for visitors to learn more about Singapore’s wetland biodiversity and to play a part in its conservation. The Nature Park is slated to be opened in mid-2022.
Ecological significance of the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat
Mandai mangrove forest, is one of the few remaining mangrove habitats in Singapore with an extensive mudflat exposed at low tide. It has 29 mangrove plant species, 16 of which are threatened. The site is also a habitat for threatened species of seagrass and horseshoe crabs.
NParks’ studies have shown that due to the diversity and abundance of benthic animals such as mollusc, crustaceans and worms, etc., the mudflat of Mandai mangrove provide migratory shorebirds with a rich feeding ground. Results from surveys and radio-tracking of flagged shorebirds in recent years confirmed that majority of the shorebirds that roost in the Wetland Reserve at high tide will fly to forage at the extensive mudflat exposed at low tide. This means that both sites are ecologically inter-dependent habitats for shorebirds, and are important for their conservation in Singapore.
Research and educational opportunities
As part of today’s announcements, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee shared that the proposed new 72.8-hectare Nature Park will enhance the capacity of the main Reserve as an outdoor education, learning and research centre, with new opportunities for visitors to learn more about wetland ecology and be involved in its conservation.
The new Nature Park is also strategically situated along two future major recreational routes – the Round-Island-Route (RIR) and the Rail Corridor. The section of RIR that the new Nature Park will be sited on is designated as an eco-discovery corridor that highlights the lesser-known ecological gems in Singapore. Visitors will also be able to visit the Nature Park as a key node while exploring the Rail Corridor.
At the same time, to minimise impact on the mudflat, NParks will provide a minimum level of visitor amenities. This will include bicycle racks, a single nature trail and bird hides that will be strategically located to allow visitors to enjoy a panoramic view of the migratory birds feeding on the expansive mudflat without disturbing them.
Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong was the Guest-of-Honour for this morning’s event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, where he was hosted by Minister Lee.