Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Labrador Nature Reserve


Located on the southern coast of Singapore, the Labrador Nature Reserve (10 ha) is the smallest among the four legally-protected nature reserves in Singapore. Unlike the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve which conserves inland terrestrial habitats, the Labrador Nature Reserve protects a unique shoreline while most of Singapore's coastline has been greatly modified since the 1960s. The history of this reserve was a bumpy one. This place was once a designated nature reserve during the colonial times (since 1951) but it was later degazetted as a nature park for many years (since 1973) before regaining its nature reserve status again in 2002 thanks to the lobbying led by Dr. Leo Tan Wee Hin.

The Labrador Nature Reserve hosts the only rocky shore on mainland Singapore (300 m in length) with associated rock cliffs of less than 30 m. At Labrador, there is also the only surviving patch of fringing coral reef on the main island of Singapore, which avoided the destruction suffered by other coral reef communities on the main island due to land reclamation. The coast here consists of a narrow sand strip (average 8 m wide), followed by a 30 to 40-m stretch of rocky intertidal flat before sloping into a narrow strip of corals (5-8 m wide) and then into the sea.

The Labrador Beach houses an interesting array of organisms representative of Singapore's intertidal community, ranging from sponges and sea cucumbers to molluscs and crustaceans. Besides having one of the largest patches of Sickle Seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii), it was also on the rocky shores here that the fiddler crab species Uca tetragonon was first recorded in Singapore. Due to the algae cover on rocks, the Pacific Turban Chell (Turbo bruneus) can also be found in abundance here. The corals and seagrasses here also support a diverse variety of fishes, such as the Queenfish (Scomberiodes commersonianus), the Yellow Snapper (Lutjanus lutjanus), and the Yellow Tail Fusilier (Caesio cuning).

There is also a Nature Trail which brings visitors through the secondary and coastal forests along the coast. Some common coastal species one can find are the Sea Apple (Syzygium grande), the Sea Almond (Terminalia catappa), and Mata Ayam (Ardisia elliptica).

Though protected as a nature reserve now, Labrador Beach has been negatively impacted by human activities from its surroundings over the decades. The eastern end of the beach was reclaimed and converted into a public park (Labrador Park) whereas thermal effluents used to flow out from the western end where a power plant which is currently decommissioned. A jetty was also built in the middle of the beach to serve for transferring of oil between small tankers and the storage tank owned by British Petroleum. The excavation work across the intertidal flat for laying submarine service lines to Pulau Bukom in 2007 and 2008 became another factor that adds on to the stress experienced by this nature reserve. In recent years, the beach is also impacted due to a surge in visitorship such as large groups of students or beachcombers. The rocky shore and jetty are now closed from public access.

Getting there

Located at Labrador Villa Road, the nature reserve is only accessible directly via the bus service 'Parks 408' which shuttles between the Harbour Front Bus Interchange and Labrador Park on weekends and public holidays from 11 am to 9 pm., at every 30-minute interval. One can also take bus services 10, 30, 51, 143, or 176 to Pasir Panjang Road and walk there via Labrador Villa Road. Otherwise, one could take the Circle Line train service to 'Labrador Park' MRT Station and take a 10-minute walk via Labrador Villa Road.

Carparks (A, B, and C) are also available for car drivers after entering Labrador Villa Road from Pasir Panjang Road.

Other Resources

National Parks Board. Labrador Nature Reserve. http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=naturereserves&id=48&Itemid=75. (Accessed December 2011).

Tan, R. Labrador Nature Reserve. http://www.wildsingapore.com/places/lp.htm. (Accessed December 2011).


Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (eds.), 2011. Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development, Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

Related Images

Related Documents

  • A checklist of Orthoptera in Singapore parks.
    Tan, M. K., R. W. J. Ngiam & M. R. B. Ismail (06 Mar 2012)

    The diversity of Orthoptera of urban parks in Singapore is inventorised. At least 61 species of Orthoptera were recorded from eight parks: Admiralty Park, Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West, Bukit Batok Nature Park, East Coast Park, Kent Ridge Park, Labrador Nature Reserve, Pasir Ris Park, and Sengkang Riverside Park.

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