The 73ha nature park will include a mudflat and mangrove forest. (Photo: NParks)
The Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat is set to be designated as Singapore’s newest nature park, announced Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Sunday (7 Oct).
Anticipated to open by mid-2022, the 73ha nature park includes a 42ha mudflat and a 26ha mangrove forest that features 16 threatened species of mangrove shrubs and trees. Aside from being an ecologically diverse feeding ground for migratory birds, it is also a habitat of the vulnerable Mangrove Horseshoe Crab.
Located 3km east of the 130ha Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the area is currently government land. When it opens, the conservation area could feature a walking trail, bicycle racks and bird hides, allowing visitors to surreptitiously observe birds.
“This nature park will be sensitively managed by the National Parks Board (NParks),” said Lee, adding that the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat will complement the wetland reserve.
“We will conduct habitat enhancement measures such as coastal clean-ups and mangrove replanting, and to measure the effectiveness of these measures, NParks will monitor the populations of birds and mudflat fauna there.
“We will facilitate research and education opportunities at the park, and we will also provide opportunities for Singaporeans to experience its unique habitats first-hand without impacting the sensitivity of the ecosystem.”
In addition, the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat will be located near two upcoming recreational trails, namely the Round Island Route and the Rail Corridor.
By designating it as a nature park, NParks can better monitor and safeguard the wildlife there. It will also strengthen the enforcement of anti-poaching laws.
He explained that the move is in line with Singapore’s garden city concept, wherein people and developments are set amidst precious biodiversity.
“It is not one where we put in laws and fences and warning signs, and keep everyone out. Rather, whilst these are sensitive biodiversity areas, we need to bring people in.
“We need to actively nurture a love for nature among more Singaporeans, and encourage the community to be good stewards and custodians of our rich biodiversity,” Lee added.
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Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org