As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Great news for Singapore shorebirds: new protected area announced

29 Oct 2018

This month, wetlands containing one of Singapore’s last remaining mangroves have secured protection after years of concerted advocacy. This move will benefit globally threatened birds such as the Chinese Egret and Straw-headed Bulbul.

By Shannon Anstee

Often, when we think of Singapore, we think of urban sprawl with sky-high buildings standing tall in a concrete jungle. However, what we often forget to recognise is how important this city is for migratory birds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Migratory birds can travel from as far North as the Arctic Circle to as far South as Australia and New Zealand. Along the way, these birds rely on stopover sites in China, Vietnam and Singapore in order to rest and feed. These sites are becoming increasingly scarce amidst development and increasing population pressures. As a result, the protection of these natural environments are vital for securing the future and wellbeing of migratory birds.

The Nature Society (Singapore) (NSS - BirdLife Partner) recognises the importance of coastal mudflats within Singapore and has been advocating for their conservation for over three decades. Since the 1980s, they have been regularly monitoring biodiversity and birds in the Kranji - Mandai wetlands and mangroves. They have been working with local conservation groups and researchers at the National University of Singapore to push for its inclusion as a nationally protected area, and recognition as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA).

This month, through the hard work and advocacy of NSS and other stakeholders, the Singapore government has announced their intention to gazette an area of over 70 hectares of coastal mudflats and mangroves in the Kranji- Mandai IBA as a new protected area. The announcement was made at the World Migratory Bird Day activities at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in October 2018. "Although belated, the conservation of Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat is highly laudable on the part of the Singapore government, in consonant with the positive move for nature conservation through the last three decades from Buloh to Ubin to Kranji Marshes - and now Mandai.", expressed Dr. Hua Chew Ho, vice president of the Nature Society (Singapore).

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