Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Description

Sungei Buloh (‘bamboo river’ in Malay) was officially gazetted as a nature reserve in 2002, and renamed Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR). In the same year, the 130-ha site was included in the East Asian Australasian Shorebird Site Network, having been recognised for its importance as a stopover for migratory birds. A year later, in 2003, SBWR was designated as an ASEAN Heritage Park, the first of its kind in Singapore. There are two such parks in Singapore today, the other being Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which joined the ranks in 2011.

Tucked away in north-western Singapore, amidst numerous prawn farms, the ecological value of Sungei Buloh lay undiscovered until 1986 when a group of avid birdwatchers from the Singapore branch of the Malayan Nature Society—now the Nature Society (Singapore)—chanced upon the site. Their efforts to conserve Sungei Buloh came to fruition in 1989, when the government officially designated the 87-ha site as a nature park. On 6th December 1993, Sungei Buloh Nature Park was officially opened to the public. In 2008, a Draft Sungei Buloh Master Plan to enhance SBWR and its surrounding nature pockets was mooted. The Sungei Buloh Master Plan was officially launched in 2010, which illustrated the transformation of the area into a learning centre focused on wetland conservation and education. Work to develop SBWR and its environs commenced in end 2010, and is expected to be completed by mid 2013.

SBWR is open from 7.30 am to 7.00 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm on Sundays and public holidays. Admission fees are only applicable to the former, costing S$1.00 for adults and $0.50 per child/student/senior citizen. Numerous trails split from the Visitor Centre, providing good views of mangrove flora, such as Bakau Minyak (Rhizophora apiculata) and Sea Holly (Acanthus spp.). A wireless trail has also been added which smartphone users can tap on to go on a self-guided tour. During low tide, mangrove animals like Orange Fiddler Crabs (Uca vocans) and Giant Mudskippers (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) can be seen on the mudflats. Hides along the trails provide good lookout points to observe resident and migratory birds. Common residents include Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) and White-breasted Waterhens (Amaurornis phoenicurus). From September to March yearly, migratory birds such as Common Redshanks (Tringa totanus) and Pacific Golden Plovers (Pluvialis fulva) can be seen at SBWR.

Getting there

A carpark is located just outside SBWR for visitors getting to the Reserve by car. Public transport wise, there is SMRT bus 925 from Kranji MRT Station. From Monday to Saturday, the closest passengers can get to the Reserve is the Kranji Reservoir carpark stop—a 15-minute walk to the final destination on foot via Neo Tiew Crescent. On Sundays and public holidays, service 925 drops passengers at the Reserve’s entrance. Alternatively, there is the privately operated Kranji Express (adults: S$3.00; students and senior citizens: S$1.00) which makes several stops in the Kranji Countryside, starting from Kranji MRT Station (buses depart every 75 minutes; daily from 9.00 am to 5.45 pm).

Other Resources

Baker, N. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. http://www.ecologyasia.com/html-loc/sungei-buloh.htm. (Accessed February 2012).

National Parks Board. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=naturereserves&id=57&Itemid=75. (Accessed February 2012).

Ng, P. K. L. & Sivasothi N. (eds.). Sungei Buloh Nature Park. http://mangrove.nus.edu.sg/guidebooks/text/1019.htm. (Accessed February 2012).

Mangrove Action Project. Comparative Guide to Mangroves. http://mangroveactionproject.org/files/Comparative%20Guide%20to%20Mangroves-12Dec06%202.pdf. (Accessed August 2012).

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. http://www.sbwr.org.sg/. (Accessed February 2012).

Tan, R. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. http://www.wildsingapore.com/places/sbwr.htm. (Accessed February 2012).

References

Chua, E. K., 2010. Wetlands in a City. Simply Green, Singapore. 176 pp.

Ng, P. K. L., H. T. W. Tan & K. K. P. Lim, 2011. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Pp. 74–75. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors), Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development, Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

Ng, P. K. L., L. K. Wang & K. K. P. Lim, 2008. Private Lives: An Exposé of Singapore’s Mangroves. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research. 240 pp.

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