19 Aug 2020

New Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network announced

A new 400-hectare Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network was announced today. The Lim Chu Kang Mangroves will be conserved as part of the new Lim Chu Kang Nature Park. 
Photo from NParks facebook post

The Nature Park Network safeguards a variety of wetland habitats, protecting our core biodiversity while providing more green spaces that everyone can enjoy. The new Nature Park is scheduled to be ready in 2022.
From the Straits Times.

New Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network to expand Singapore’s natural capital along our northern coasts as part of efforts to make Singapore a City in Nature

from the NParks press release 19 Aug 2020

The new Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network in order to extend Singapore’s natural capital as part of its City in Nature vision. This new Network comprises Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, other important core habitats such as the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat and Kranji Marshes, nature parks and eco-corridors, and nature areas such as Jalan Gemala and Kranji Reservoir Marshes.

Covering over 400 hectares, which is more than triple the size of the Wetland Reserve, it safeguards a variety of complementary wetland habitats, including mangroves, mudflats and freshwater marshes, strengthening the conservation of wetland biodiversity in the northern part of Singapore.

With the Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network, the public can look forward to more than 15km of trails to explore and experience nature.

The western extension to the Wetland Reserve, which encompasses Cashin House, will be conserved as Lim Chu Kang Nature Park. It is an 18-hectare ecological link between the Wetland Reserve and the Lim Chu Kang mangroves. The new nature park also provides more area for nature-based recreation.

Science and research were key in the designation of the areas within the network

The decision to safeguard buffer zones and complementary wetland habitats around the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve was determined through extensive research that established the ecological connectivity and complementarity between the sites.

For example, the Wetland Reserve and Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat Nature Park are important refuelling sites for migratory shorebirds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

Wetland habitats also provide a wide variety of goods and services such as serving as a food source and nursery ground for numerous marine organisms, storing carbon, and mitigating coastal erosion. The conservation of such habitats strengthens the conservation of wetland biodiversity, and play a key role in ensuring the long-term survival of our biodiversity

Studies have shown that a total of 279 species of birds has been recorded in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and the surrounding complementary habitats. Conservation of these ecologically inter-dependent areas in the Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network will enhance conservation of these birds and the associated ecosystems and processes.

To enhance the shorebird conservation efforts at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, more than three hectares of shorebird feeding and roosting habitat have been restored in the past five years. The habitat enhancement also supports other rare waterbirds such as the Lesser Adjutant and the Great-billed Heron to the wetlands. More than 1,000 trees have also been planted over the past five years as part of the reforestation efforts at Kranji Marshes. The freshwater marshland habitat is home to uncommon birds such as the Red-wattled Lapwing and Black-backed Swamphen.

Lim Chu Kang Nature Park – a new nature area towards the west of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

The 18-hectare green corridor that forms a continuous coastal extension west of the Reserve towards the Lim Chu Kang nature area, will be conserved as Lim Chu Kang Nature Park. It comprises a variety of habitats such as mangroves, woodlands, scrublands and grasslands. The diversity of habitats provides homes to coastal birds such as the Grey-headed Fish Eagle and grassland dwellers like the Baya Weaver. The new Nature Park, formerly referred to as Western Extension, will feature outdoor nature-play spaces inspired by the various habitats and its inhabitants, encouraging children and youths to spend more time outdoors and reconnect with nature.

Lim Chu Kang Nature Park will also encompass Cashin House, a building that will be enhanced sensitively for both natural and built heritage and will be used for educational programmes. Cashin House will include new facilities such as an exhibition space, seminar rooms for workshops and a seaview terrace. The surrounding area will be kept rustic and existing vegetation retained and sensitively enhanced. Visitors will be able to enjoy exploring Cashin House and its surroundings while learning about the historical significance of the area.

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