Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve: A wetlands reserve in Singapore
The location was previously unknown as a nature preserve until 1986 when members of the Singapore Branch of the Malayan Nature Society called for its preservation. Its exceptionally diverse bird species, which included migrating birds from as far as Siberia on their way to Australia to escape the winter months, was particularly noteworthy. Their recommendation was taken up by the government, and in 1989, a 0.87-square-kilometer region was designated as a natural park. With the help of a team of professionals, the Parks & Recreation Department, a forerunner of today’s National Parks Board, established and administered the natural park. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust of the United Kingdom and the World Wide Fund for Nature were among the team’s most noteworthy members. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, formerly Sungei Buloh Nature Park, was inaugurated on December 6, 1993, by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
At Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park, you may marvel at the beauty and marvels of nature. Wander through the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve which includes an immense mangrove forest, to discover a world rich in wildlife.
Sungei Buloh was established in 1993 as a Nature Park. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve was renamed Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve in 2002 when 130 hectares were gazetted as a Nature Reserve. Wetlands International awarded the reserve a certificate in the same year, recognizing it as a site of international importance for migratory birds and marking the reserve’s formal entry into the East Asian Australasian Shorebird Site Network, which includes Australia’s Kakadu National Park, China’s Mai Po – Inner Deep Bay, and Japan’s Yatsu Tidal Flats. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve was designated as Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park in 2003.
Sungei Buloh has grown since then to include 202 hectares of mangroves, mudflats, ponds, and woodlands, offering an even wider refuge for the plants and creatures that call it home. This includes the most recent addition, which features a fresh new Visitor Center as well as additional pathways for guests to explore and enjoy. This new addition is located along Kranji Way and is readily accessible by public transportation, making Sungei Buloh even more accessible to the general population.
Throughout the year, hike the various paths in this ecological gem to see mudskippers, crabs, shellfish, water snakes, birds, spiders, monitor lizards, and otters, among other local species. Herons, kingfishers, and sunbirds are among the local birds to see.
Seasonal from September to March: During the migratory season, look for plovers and sandpipers among the different groups of shorebirds or waders.
For nature enthusiasts, Sungei Buloh’s wetlands are a dream come true. Migratory birds fleeing the winter on their journey to the warmer climates of Australia may be seen at this expansive 87-hectare ecological park, with some having traveled as far as Siberia.
Crabs, mudskippers, and mud lobsters may be seen in their native habitats and from afar at observation sites scattered around the park.
At Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, a migratory bird is captured in a wide view.
The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a world-class eco-tourism destination that was initially found in 1986 by a group of Malayan Nature Society birdwatchers.
The government designated the property as a natural park three years later, in 1989, and it was formally inaugurated in 1993. Free guided tours of the wetlands are available, and activities such as painting lessons and a prawn farming demonstration will keep you occupied for the whole day.
Sungei Buloh has persuaded people to support its cause throughout the years. In 1994, it received its 100,000th visitor. In 1997, HSBC became the Park’s corporate sponsor, establishing the Sungei Buloh Education Fund to support the Park’s ecological outreach initiatives. Woodlands Secondary School was the first to adopt the park in 1999. Commonwealth Secondary School and Hillgrove Secondary School followed in 2001 and 2002, respectively. The latter two are still very much a part of the curriculum.
On November 10, 2001, the government publicly declared that the park would be designated as a natural reserve, which safeguards the area from unlawful demolition or change. The park’s second phase was inaugurated, and the full 130-hectare property was gazetted as the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on January 1, 2002. One of the four natural reserves to be gazetted is this one.
Eurasian whimbrel, common greenshank, common redshank, Mongolian plover, curlew sandpiper, marsh sandpiper, Pacific golden plover, yellow bittern, and cinnamon bittern are among the numerous birds that may be seen eating on the wide fauna diversity of worms and mollusks. The resident family of smooth otters, as well as the uncommon lesser whistling duck and the rare milky stork, may be seen by lucky visitors to the reserve.
The reserve is part of the Kranji-Mandai Important Bird Area (IBA), which BirdLife International designated as such because it is home to Chinese egrets, greater spotted eagles and greater crested terns. The Atlas moth, Southeast Asia’s biggest moth species, may be found in the back mangrove.
There are observation hides where visitors may study the flora and wildlife in the area in peace and at a safe distance from the animals and birds. Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are periodically seen in the reserve, however, it’s unclear if these are wandering animals from Malaysia/Indonesia or a residual localized population.
Education in the natural world
The reserve has offered environmental education programs as well as a volunteer guide program for schools and the general public since its beginnings. SUN Club, a program for kids with special needs, mentoring programs for secondary school students, and a Young Naturalists Program are among them. Many of these programs were developed in partnership with other organizations such as the British Council and the Ministry of Education. To better educate students and the general public, the reserve offers educational resources including as seminars, a guidebook, and the triannual journal Wetlands. More than 400 organized school visits are made to the wildlife reserve each year.
Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve unveiled a wireless learning path on August 25, 2007. The Ministry of Education (Singapore) (MOE), the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), and the private sector enterprise iCELL Network collaborated on the new program, which mixes technology with nature education. The Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve was the first park in Singapore to use this type of education.
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