Conserving Biodiversity - Wildlife Reserves Singapore

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Conserving Biodiversity - Wildlife Reserves Singapore

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Conserving Biodiversity


A Sustainable Future

For Wildlife

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) has been at the forefront

of wildlife conservation in the region for many years. We take

a sustainable approach to park operations to ensure that

wildlife and resource conservation, community engagement

and economic stability are all given significant and equal

consideration. We are currently embarking on the development

of a fully audited sustainability report that will enable us to track

and manage the impact of our activities on the environment.

This process includes the first carbon footprint study and is

in line with our goal of becoming a leader in the sustainable

management of wildlife entertainment and education facilities.

As a first stage in the development of the report, this document

outlines our approach to sustainable management and

highlights current key initiatives. It also outlines future plans

and frameworks for conserving biodiversity and

resource management.

The three key sustainability components discussed

in this document are:


CONSERVATION FOR ALL


ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY


SUSTAINABILITY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE


Contents

02 CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

04 LEADERSHIP TEAM

06 CONSERVATION FOR ALL

Conserving Biodiversity

Conserving Resources

08 ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY

• Education

• Community Outreach and Involvement

• Volunteering Opportunities

• Community and Staff Well-Being

10 SUSTAINABILITY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

• Setting Frameworks and Goals for Sustainable Developments

• Sustainable Development of River Safari

PHOTO: DAVID TAN


Chairman’s Message

“When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.”

~ John Muir, naturalist and conservationist

Yours Sincerely,

Claire Chiang

CHAIRMAN, WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE


WRS LEADERSHIP TEAM

Inspiring wildlife conservation

Kumar Pillai,

General Manager,

Night Safari

Linda Chew,

Director,

Operations

Linda Tan,

Assistant Director,

Retail/ Travel

Isabel Cheng,

Director,

Sales, marketing &

Communication

Dr Serena Oh,

Assistant Director,

Veterinary

Steven Tan,

Director,

F&B

Freddy Ong,

Chief Operating Officer

Lim Poh Guan,

Head,

IT

Isabella Loh,

Group CEO

Thang Koon Tee,

Director,

Finance

Lim Kai Huat,

Director,

Human Resources

Lok May Kuen,

Director,

Education

Melanie Wong,

Director,

Compliance & Control

Cham Tud Yinn,

Director,

Exhibit Design & Development

Serene Law,

Director,

Sales

Daisy Ling,

Director,

Corporate Services & HSSE

Desmond Tan,

General Manager,

River Safari

Raja Segran,

General Manager,

Jurong Bird Park

Barry Chong,

Assistant Director,

Maintenance

Melvin Tan,

Director,

Horticulture

Zac Lim,

Special Executive Assistant to CEO


Conservation For All

The first pillar of WRS’ sustainable approach

is an understanding that conservation is not

just about the preservation of animals and

their habitats but also about the efficient

use of natural resources and a reduction in

waste production and carbon emissions,

which contribute to climate change.

Our holistic approach to conservation

focuses on:


CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY


CONSERVING RESOURCES

PHOTO: WILLIAM NAI


Conserving Biodiversity

WRS’ vision is to be the foremost wildlife institution in the world. WRS not only offers a safe

haven for wildlife but also champions the protection of wildlife, especially endangered

species, in their natural habitats.

WRS strives to realise its vision through:

• Ex-situ conservation and research

• Highest management standards for captive wildlife care

Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF)

• Local and regional projects

• Inspiring future conservationists

Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

• Sharing best practices and

capacity building

• Sharing expertise

through publication

EX-SITU CONSERVATION AND RESEARCH:

Breeding and managing endangered and threatened species in captivity

WRS breeds endangered and threatened species not only to maintain

the animal collection but also to participate actively in animal exchange

programmes with other reputable zoos, enhancing the genetic diversity

of animal collections around the world without drawing on wild

populations. Since 2000, WRS has achieved 375 successful births for 35

endangered species – a testimony to good animal husbandry and excellent

veterinary care.

WRS promotes research on the husbandry and reproductive biology

of various endangered South East Asian animal species that few other

zoological facilities have successfully kept or bred. This team-effort involving

the Zoology and Veterinary staff has proven to be a unique success at the

Night Safari where the Park is the first zoological institution to breed the

Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) in captivity.

At the Jurong Bird Park we are proud to have succeeded in the artificial

incubation of two great pied hornbills (Buceros bicornis), the yellow-billed

stork (Mycterbia ibis) and the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo).

For many years WRS has contributed to the conservation of Asian elephants

through animal exchange programmes, research and scientific collaboration.

Night Safari recently celebrated the birth of a male elephant after a hiatus

of nine years. The Park has also collaborated with Perth Zoo on the complex

procedure of artificial insemination to help Australia in its efforts to develop

sustainable captive elephant groups.

Singapore Zoo is one of the leading zoological facilities for the captive

management and breeding of endangered Asian primates. Recent highlights

included the births of two Sumatran orang utans (Pongo abelii) and six

critically endangered cotton top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Singapore

Zoo has also been very successful in breeding highly endangered reptile

species such as the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and the critically

endangered river terrapin (Batagur baska).

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Nila Utama is the first elephant calf born to Night Safari after a hiatus of nine years. He is named

after the Palembang prince who founded the kingdom of Singapura.

The upcoming Breeding and Research

Centre will enable Jurong Bird Park to

breed more endangered bird such as

these hyacinth macaws.

The cotton-top tamarin is

among the critically endangered

species successfully bred by

Singapore Zoo.

Night Safari recorded the first successful

birth of a Sunda pangolin conceived in

captivity. Sunda pangolins can be

found in the forests of Singapore.

Number of animals bred (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011)

Jurong Bird Park

Significant hatchings:

• Great pied hornbill

• Oriental pied hornbill

• Plain pouch hornbill

• Black hornbill

• Bar-pouched hornbill

• White-crowned hornbill

• Blue-eyed cockatoo

• Black palm cockatoo

• Moluccan cockatoo

• Hyacinth macaw

• Scarlet macaw

• Malay fish owl

• Eurasian eagle owl

• Roseate spoonbill

• Rhea

Night Safari Singapore Zoo

Significant births:

• Sunda pangolin

• Asian elephant

Significant births:

• Douc langur

• Proboscis monkey

• Siamang gibbon

• Sumatran orang utan

(critically endangered)

• cotton-top tamarin

(critically endangered)

• white rhino

• pygmy hippo

Significant hatchings:

• River terrapin

(critically endangered)

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350

300

250

200

150

100

50

0

336

hatchings

204

vertebrate

births

&

hatchings

229

vertebrate

births

&

hatchings


HIGHEST MANAGEMENT STANDARDS FOR WILDLIFE CARE

Respect and care for wildlife are among our core values and WRS provides the highest levels of

animal care systems through industry-leading zoological management and modern veterinary

practice.

• Animal Acquisition And Welfare

WRS adopts a sustainable approach in animal acquisition, which is

carried out with other reputable zoological institutions or agencies

approved by the relevant CITES regulating bodies.

WRS’ animal welfare and ethics policy is adapted from the World

Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). At all times, WRS acts in

accordance with national and international laws and maintains the

highest standards in husbandry, exhibit standards, retreat facilities,

veterinary care, animal training and all other aspects involving the wellbeing

of the animals. The Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC)

conducts reviews on the policy and also plays an advisory role to WRS.

The main focus of WRS’ animal shows is to convey conservation

awareness of endangered fauna and flora, cultivate love and respect for

nature and animals, and foster a greater understanding of sustainability.

The shows and training are based on the animals’ natural behaviour and

their spontaneous interaction with humans.

WRS adheres to the five basic principles of animal welfare: freedom

from hunger and thirst; freedom from thermal and physical discomfort;

freedom from pain, disease or injury; freedom to express normal

behaviour; freedom from fear and distress.

• Environmental Enrichment

Environmental enrichment is gaining importance as a way to ensure the

physical and psychological well-being of the animals in WRS. This process

involves enhancing the environment to encourage the animals to display

natural behaviours, explore, play and solve problems.

Well-designed exhibits and holding facilities are extremely important

in maintaining exploratory activities in animals. At WRS, a full-time

Enrichment Officer works closely with the keepers to design facilities to

meet the natural needs of the animals. Climbing structures, vines, rest

Right: Food is often

hidden in puzzle

feeders to encourage

the animal to explore

and solve problems.

Below: Chimpanzees

using twigs to ‘fish’ out

honey from an artificial

termite mound.

or hide areas, pools, logs and artificial objects such as toys and termite

mounds form an integral part of the exhibits at WRS.

Food is often used as an enrichment tool. It can be hidden, scattered,

given as whole pieces or in puzzle feeders to encourage problem solving

and exploration. Novel food items, not part of the daily diet, are also

given as a surprise treat for the animals.

Animals are stimulated by items that evoke their senses. Food or water

is sometimes mixed with approved flavouring to vary tastes; scents from

different herbs, oils, spices or perfume are sprayed onto exhibit furniture

to stimulate olfactory exploration.

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• Fresh Fodder For Leaf Lovers

WRS maintains a 4.7 hectare farm in Lim Chu Kang. About 90% of the

farm land is used to grow mulberry and the rest, for plants such as ipi

ipi, hibiscus, guava and wild tea. Each day 150 to 180 kg of leaves are

harvested to provide fresh fodder for over 21 species of primates and 14

species of herbivores in Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.

The operation of the fodder farm is guided by green environmental

practices which include collection of rain water in two ponds for

irrigation, the use of herbivore dung as fertiliser/mulch and the

avoidance of pesticide usage.

Above: WRS maintains a 4.7 hectares farm in Lim Chu Kang to provide fodder for its

herbivores. Every month, about 10 tons of herbivore dung, mainly from elephants,

are recycled as fertiliser for the plants.

Left: The sustainable approach is used to maintain the park. Instead of using

potable water, rain water collected in the ponds is used for irrigation.

Jurong Bird Park

opened the only

avian hospital in

Southeast Asia to

provide the best

possible veterinary

care for birds

and to share best

practices with

wildlife institutions

in the region.

Wildlife Healthcare

WRS opened the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre in Singapore

Zoo and a world-class avian hospital in Jurong Bird Park in 2006 to

provide the best possible veterinary care for its animal collection as well

as rescued animals.

The Avian Hospital of Jurong Bird Park and the Wildlife Healthcare

and Research Centre of Singapore Zoo and Night Safari provide a high

level of veterinary service through a specialised team of veterinarians,

vet nurses and hospital animal keepers. The WRS veterinary clinics

are equipped with modern diagnostic tools such as a digital X-ray

machine and equipment to carry out ultrasonograpic and endoscopic

examinations. A fully furnished laboratory allows a wide range of inhouse

tests and together with the in-house pathology department

provides an outstanding platform for biomedical research.

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WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE CONSERVATION FUND (WRSCF)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF) was registered in July 2009 as a charity

and an institution of public character, with the primary purpose of conserving endangered

native wildlife. WRS contributes 20 cents from each admission ticket towards the WRSCF.

Funds raised are channelled to education and the preservation of biodiversity in Singapore.

PROJECTS FUNDED BY WRSCF

Since its inception in July 2009, WRSCF has granted funding for the following projects and

workshops:

The green crested

lizard is rarely seen

now because it has

been displaced

by an introduced

species, the

changeable lizard.

• Population monitoring and feeding analysis of the banded leaf monkey

(Presbytis femoralis femoralis) in Singapore

This species was believed to be on the verge of extinction with only 10 to

15 individuals left in Singapore. The research, spearheaded by Ms Andie

Ang, yielded a much more encouraging result - there are now at least 40

banded leaf monkeys in our nature reserves and they are reproducing.

The project was conducted in collaboration with the National University

of Singapore and National Parks Board Singapore and completed in

December 2011.

• Effects of habitat disturbance on canopy amphibians and reptiles in

Southeast Asia

There are 19 endangered or critically endangered arboreal amphibian

and reptile species in Singapore. These species rely on forest canopies

to survive. Data from this study will complement those that have

already been collected on forest animals and will be used for making

conservation recommendations for arboreal animals in Singapore and

Southeast Asia. Preliminary results showed that there is a greater variety

of amphibian and reptile species in low disturbance forest compared to

high disturbance forest.

This project is conducted in collaboration with Brett R. Scheffers, PhD

candidate at the National University of Singapore, and the National

Parks Board.

Human-macaque

conflict has become

a serious concern in

Singapore.

It is hoped that

re-introduction of

the rhino hornbill in

Singapore will enjoy

the same encouraging

outcome as for the

Oriental pied hornbill.

• Ecology of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in relation to

natural and artificial food resource preference and availability

Human actions have altered the feeding behaviour of the long-tailed

macaques, and has resulted in human-macaque conflict. This research

project investigates how the long-tailed macaque’s feeding ecology

and range are influenced by preference and availability of artificial

and natural food resources, and the implications for human-macaque

interactions.

This project is conducted by John Sha Chih Mun, PhD candidate

(dissertation) Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University.

Singapore wild marine mammal survey

Recent sightings have confirmed five different marine mammals in

Singapore and regional waters. This project aims to assess and monitor

the population of these marine mammals. This will be achieved

through field studies and the involvement of members of the public by

establishing a volunteer network and a robust reporting system, which

will supply information on the abundance, distribution and behaviour of

marine mammals to a central database.

This project is conducted by Dr Elizabeth Oh Taylor, Tropical Marine Science

Institute.

• Re-introduction of rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) in Singapore

Through breeding and re-introduction efforts, this pioneer project aims

to re-establish a sustainable rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros

rhinoceros) population in Singapore. It will be the first re-introduction

programme in the world for this species after local extinction. To

introduce and to maintain large birds in tropical forests in the presence

of high human density and activity is a true challenge and these efforts

will be very important to bird conservation. So far aviaries for 2 pairs of

rhinoceros hornbills have been built and we are now awaiting the arrival

of 3 rhinoceros hornbills from Thailand.

This project is conducted in collaboration with Prof. Ng Soon Chye,

Marc Cremades and Nathalie Lai Hui Min from the Singapore Hornbill

Project.

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The leopard cat

was thought to have

become extinct in

Singapore. In June

2001, a roadkill

was found along

Mandai Road

raising hope that a

small population still

roams in our forests.

• Ecology and conservation of leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) in

Singapore

The critically endangered leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) was last

seen alive in the wild on mainland Singapore in 1968. This project studies

various aspects of the ecology of the leopard cat in Pulau Tekong and the

possible population in the western catchment, including their population

size, distribution, diet and genetic variation.

This project is undertaken by Chua Aik Hwee Marcus MSc candidate, National

University of Singapore

Biodiversity of vertebrate scavengers in Singapore: Implications on

conservation and nutrient cycling

Secondary forests are often considered to have little conservation value

and may consequently be cleared for development projects. Over 85% of

the forested areas in Singapore are composed of secondary forests, so it

is imperative to document the biodiversity residing in the various forest

types to support the need for forest protection in Singapore. This project

focuses on functions of scavengers in Singapore forests and the ecological

role they play.

This project is conducted by Norman Lim T-Lon, PhD candidate University of

California, Davis.

• Enhancing wildlife habitat and accelerating forest recovery in the Central

Catchment Nature Reserve

Singapore’s Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature

Reserve encompass a mosaic of primary forests, slowly-recovering

secondary forests, and fern-dominated areas. Regeneration of

disturbed areas within this mosaic shows stagnation. This project seeks

to understand the ecological factors facilitating the regeneration of

disturbed forest mosaics in Singapore’s nature reserves.

This project is conducted by Chua Siew Chin, PhD candidate, University of

California, Berkley.

• The Conservation of Asian Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles - Setting

Priorities for the Next Ten Years

In recent years, the population of many tortoise and turtle species

has been declining at alarming rates. This 4-day workshop brought

together over 70 specialists and experts to review activities for the past

decade, set out conservation plans for the next 10 years and discuss the

management of confiscated tortoises and turtles, as well as the captive

facility designs. A detailed report with recommendation and conclusions

from the workshop will soon be published so that the outcomes from the

workshop can be shared among wildlife institutions.

Programme Partners: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in collaboration

with IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Kadoorie

Farm and Botanic Garden, IUCN Red List, San Diego Zoo Global and Turtle

Survival Alliance)

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LOCAL AND REGIONAL PROJECTS

In addition to funding projects through WRSCF, WRS collaborates with conservation partners,

NGOs and agencies in support of local and regional projects.

The re-introduction

programme and provision

for nest boxes have

yielded encouraging

results – sightings

of the oriental pied

hornbill have reported a

significant increase.

Captured on film!

A common palm civet

found in the urban area

of Siglap, eastern part

of Singapore.

Singapore Hornbill Project

The Singapore Hornbill Project, started six year ago, is a joint initiative

by Jurong Bird Park, Singapore National Parks Board and the Singapore

Avian Conservation Project team. Its objective is to enhance the

population of wild hornbills in Singapore. The first reintroduction of

a pair of oriental pied hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) into Bukit

Timah Nature Reserve in December 2008 was a milestone in local bird

conservation. Artificial “intelligent nests” were used to monitor the

hornbills at Jurong Bird Park and Pulau Ubin. The nests were fitted with

cameras, a weighing scale and a temperature and humidity analyser.

Data gathered allowed better understanding of the nesting and

breeding behaviour of the hornbills, as well as physical parameters

within the nest cavity. The project has resulted in a significant increase

in sightings of birds at Pulau Ubin and mainland Singapore compared to

15 years ago.

• Common Palm Civet Rescue and Relocation

The common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is one of the few

remaining mammalian species in Singapore. Despite urbanisation, a

healthy population can still be found in the Siglap area. These creatures

prefer to consume fruits from house gardens. While most residents

are tolerant of them, some are bothered by their existence. As a result,

many palm civets had to be rescued and brought to WRS. Working

with National Parks Board and the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority

of Singapore (AVA), most rescued civets were relocated, and those

unfit for release were absorbed into WRS’ collection. Ongoing surveys

are being carried out to monitor Singapore’s civet population. Public

education programmes were conducted to encourage Siglap residents

to live alongside this native species. In October 2010 a common palm

civet exhibit was completed at the Night Safari to provide a home for

those animals unfit for release as well as to raise more public awareness

through education.

With urbanisation,

the metallic

caerulean butterfly

finds it increasing

difficult to locate

mature torch

ginger, which is

the food source of

its caterpillars.

• Monitoring of migratory birds and disease surveillance at Sungei Buloh

Jurong Bird Park assisted NEA and AVA in conducting disease surveillance

on West Nile virus and Japanese encephalitis. Both of these viruses

belong to the flaviviridae subgroup and can be transmitted from their

usual hosts such as birds to humans via mosquitoes and ticks. The

ongoing project involves overnight mist-net trapping, the collection of

biomaterials and ringing of migratory birds in Sungei Buloh. Jurong Bird

Park is also contributing biomaterial samples of donated wild migratory

birds to this important disease surveillance effort.

• Saving the Metallic Caerulean Butterfly

The closure of Mandai Orchid Garden in early January caused great

concern for the Butterfly Circle. The flowers of mature clumps of torch

ginger in the garden have been the food source for the caterpillars of the

metallic caerulean butterfly. Fearing that the species may become locally

extinct if the area is cleared for future development, the Butterfly Circle

approached Singapore Zoo to transplant the torch ginger plants. 10

clumps were transplanted to Singapore Zoo’s Fragile Forest area to create

a new breeding site for the metallic caerulean.

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Fireflies have

special light organs

located under their

abdomens. Very

little is known about

the life cycle of our

local species and it is

therefore challenging

to breed them.

Right: Students from

Zhangde Primary

School releasing

fireflies, bred at Night

Safari, in Pasir Ris

Mangrove Park. WRS

hopes to repopulate

fireflies in Singapore

for all to enjoy their

magical glow.

• Firefly Conservation

Fireflies are winged beetles, which are also called “glow worms” for their

conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescence to attract mates or

prey. They are mostly found in wetlands and mangrove areas. Owing

to habitat destruction, fireflies are becoming an extremely rare sight in

Singapore. WRS has been working with the National Parks Boards on a

firefly breeding programme to conserve the remaining population of

fireflies in Pasir Ris Park. WRS is also currently establishing a colony at

Night Safari to educate the public on the plight of wild fireflies.

The Tonkin snubnosed

monkey

is one of the 25

most endangered

primates in the

world, threatened by

habitat destruction of

its forest home.

Jurong Bird Park

has been successful

in breeding the

critically endangered

Bali Mynah, and

is working toward

enhancing the wild

population in Bali.

• Mitigating Human-Elephant Conflict in Way Kambas National Park,

Sumatra

The elephants from Way Kambas National Park travel to villages located

along the park’s perimeter and raid crops almost every night during

peak harvest season. Villagers suffered heavy economic losses and

retaliated by shooting the elephants. To mitigate the conflict, WRS and

Wildlife Conservation Society assisted to develop fish farms along the

routes taken by the elephants to serve as a partial physical barrier and

“watch-zone” for the villagers who fish at these farms. The fish farms

also provide an additional source of income for the villagers.

• Tonkin snub-nosed monkey Conservation Project

WRS continued its support for Vietnamese Le Khac Quyet’s study on the

behaviour and ecology of the critically endangered Tonkin snub-nosed

monkey. The latest research results show that the population of about

250 monkeys in Khau Ca, Vietnam, is healthy and reproducing. There

were at least nine newborn monkeys between 2009 and 2010.

• Saving the Bali Mynah

The Bali mynah (Leucopsar rothschildi) is the only surviving endemic

animal species in Bali. As a result of poaching and illegal pet trade,

it has become critically endangered with fewer than 50 birds

surviving in the wild. Since 2009 the Jurong Bird Park has been

supporting the conservation efforts of the Begawan Foundation in

Bali. Through financial support, direct participation in population

surveys and captive breeding and exchange programmes, this ongoing

collaboration is an important step towards creating a sustainable wild

mynah population in Bali.

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INSPIRING AND SUPPORTING YOUNG CONSERVATIONISTS

WRS inspires youths to take positive actions in protecting biodiversity by supporting,

facilitating and supervising student projects such as:

• Breeding behaviour of the lesser bird of paradise (Paradisaea minor minor)

The lesser bird of paradise has very low breeding success in captivity.

Jeremy Koh from Temasek Polytechnic conducted a study to examine

the mating and nesting behaviour of the species with the objective of

enhancing breeding success. Factors such as availability of nest baskets

and multiple perches, variation of feeding locations and stimulation of a

communal hierarchy were investigated. Results showed that poor nesting

locations and limited male selection could be important factors affecting

breeding success

• Dietary and digestive differences in primates at the Singapore Zoo

Jeslyn Ho and Beverly Xue from Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

conducted a study of the dietary and digestive differences of 10 species

of primates at Singapore Zoo to examine their natural and adaptive

strategies in captivity. Results showed that the captive primates retain

much of their evolutionary taxonomic characteristics in relation to food

intake and digestive transit and retention times but have high adaptive

abilities to food selection to satisfy nutritional requirements.

Singapore Zoo has one of the world’s most varied and valuable collections of primates,

which are great research subjects for primatologists.

WRS will

continue to

inspire the youth

to play an active

role in nature

conservation

and provide

a platform for

them to share

their knowledge

with members of

the public.

• Habitat selection and web pattern of the spiny orb-weaver spider

Gina Goh from River Valley High School conducted a study to investigate

environmental factors influencing habitat selection of the spiny orb weaver

spider. The study confirmed that environmental factors like wind, humidity,

temperature and light intensity significantly influenced the occurrence of

spiny orb-weaver spiders.

• Providing biomaterial for external projects

In addition to supporting student research projects done inside our parks,

WRS also assists external research projects by providing biomaterial for

various studies:

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PROJECT

Survey of soil and leaf litter faunal

diversity in Singapore’s forests.

Phylogeography, population

genetics and comparative

morphological study of

raccoon dog in East Asia.

Genetic Analysis of

Asian Golden Cat Population

INSTITUTION

National University Of Singapore

Conservation Genome Resource

Bank for Korean Wildlife

Fordham University and the

American Museum of Natural

History


WILDLIFE RESCUE

WRS Parks function as official wildlife rescue centres in Singapore and over the past 40 years,

have attended to more than 20,000 animals.

Donated and confiscated animals are absorbed into WRS’ collection as far as possible. Those

that cannot be integrated for various reasons are maintained off-exhibit until a suitable home is

found for them in another wildlife facility.

Native animals that arrive injured or in poor health are nursed back to health, following which

WRS works with the National Parks Board to release them back to the wild. In some cases,

especially where a large number of animals are confiscated, WRS will work with the Singapore

Avian Conservation Project and other relevant organisations/authorities to repatriate the

animals to their country of origin.

Number of animals rescued (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011)

Singapore Zoo

&

Night Safari

Jurong Bird

Park

368

Donations

370

Donations

971

Confiscations

675

Confiscations

1045

Total

1339

Total

0 300 600 900 1200 1500

Wildlife Rescue In Action

Elvis, the king cobra was rescued from a drain along Thomson Road by WRS staff. After

careful consideration, Singapore Zoo decided to include Elvis in its reptile collection to

prevent him from ‘trespassing’ on urban areas again and risk getting killed by alarmed

members of the public. King cobras, the world’s longest venomous snake, are found

naturally in Singapore.

Vets give Elvis a thorough health check after he was rescued and brought to Singapore Zoo.

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 29


Wildlife Rescue In Action Wildlife Rescue In Action

In June 2011, WRS sent 36 Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) to Fort Worth Zoo in

Texas, in a partnership with the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA).

TSA, a US-based conservation group, supports and manages recovery programmes for

endangered turtles and tortoises around the world. Most are donations from the public or

confiscations from the police and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. Some of

these tortoises have been kept in Singapore Zoo for nearly two years, as it is illegal to keep

Indian star tortoises as pets in Singapore.

Native to India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the Indian star tortoise is one of the most prized

breeds in the international exotic pet trade because of its beautifully coloured patterned shell.

Assistant curator Bernard Santhosh

scans one of the tortoises to ensure it is

the correct one slated for this shipment.

All WRS animals are microchipped for

record keeping and easy identification

across borders.

In November 2010, three bird of prey species were released in a forested area at Lim Chu

Kang. The crested serpent eagle and changeable hawk eagle were donations from SPCA,

while the crested goshawk was received from the public. Prior to release the birds underwent

thorough medical examinations and were tested for contagious diseases such as avian

influenza and Newcastle’s disease. They had also been conditioned to hunt and eat live prey

while being rehabilitated in the Hawk Centre. Such measures are extremely important as they

enhance the chances of survival of these birds in the wild.

Jurong Bird Park collaborated

with National Parks Board

to release 113 confiscated

zebra doves in Dairy Farm

in February 2011. Prior

to release the birds were

quarantined and tested for

avian diseases.

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 31


SHARING BEST PRACTICES AND CAPACITY BUILDING

To share the best practices and to facilitate exchange of ideas among regional zoos in particular,

WRS hosted a number of capacity-building workshops in recent years. By hosting such events,

WRS hopes to be the catalyst in improving wildlife captive care standards and welfare, and

enhancing wildlife conservation efforts in the region, which is among the richest in biodiversity.

Number of participating zoos and agencies

2011

2010

2008

The Conservation of Asian Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles -

Setting Priorities for the Next Ten Years

(funded by WRSCF)

The first Southeast

Asian Animal Training &

Enrichment Workshop

The Asian Pangolin

Conservation

Workshop

15

20

0 10 20 30 40

39

SHARING EXPERTISE THROUGH PUBLICATIONS

Since 2002, a total of 170 papers, reports, book chapters and books authored or co-authored

by WRS staff, guest researchers, students have been produced, of which 28 were published in

scientific journals.

YEAR TITLE AUTHOR INSTITUTION PROJECT

TYPE

1 2004 Can Proboscis Monkeys Be

Successfully Maintained in

Captivity? A Case of Swings and

Roundabouts

2 2004 Habitat use by Malay Tapir

(Tapirus indicus) in West Sumatra,

Indonesia

3 2005 Population, diet and conservation

of Malayan flying Lemurs in

altered and fragmented habitats in

Singapore

4 2005 Impact of fruit production cycles

on Malayan sun bears and bearded

pigs in lowland tropical forest of

Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

5 2005 Field study on the use of inactivated

H5N2 vaccine in avian species

Agoramoorthy G,

Sam Alagappasamy

and Minna.J. Hsu

Wilson Novarino,

Santi N Karimah,

Jarulis,

Muhammad Silmi,

Muhammad Syafri

G. Agoramoorthy,

John Sha,

Minna Hsu

Siew Te Won,

Christopher

Servhee,

Laurentius Ambu

and Ahmad

Norhayati

Serena Oh, Paolo

Martelli, Oh Soon

Hock, Sonja Luz,

Chris Furley

6 2006 Proboscis monkey odyssey John Sha and Henry

Bernard

7 2006 Limestone Karsts of Southeast Asia:

Imperiled Arks of Biodiversity

Reuben Clements,

Navjot Sodhi,

Menno Schilthuizen,

and Peter Ng

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 33

Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

Andalas

University,

Indonesia

Tajen

Institute of

Technology,

Singapore

Zoological

Gardens,

National

Sun Yat-sen

University

University

of Montana,

Sabah Wildlife

Department,

Universiti

Kebangsaan

Malaysia

Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

Universiti

Malaysia

Sabah

National

University of

Singapore,

Universiti

Malaysia

Sabah

PUBLICATION

TYPE

Staff project Journal -

Zoo Biology

Funding

support

(regional)

Journal - Tapir

Conservation

Staff project Journal -

Biodiversity and

Conservation

Funding

support

(regional)

Journal - Journal

of Tropical

Ecology

Staff project Journal -

Veterinary

Record

Funding

support

(regional)

Funding

support

(regional)

Article -

Malaysian

Naturalist

Journal -

BioScience


8 2007 Home range, activity cycle and

natal den usage of a female

Sunda pangolin Manis javanica

(Mammalia: Pholidota) in Singapore

9 2007 Further twists in gastropod shell

evolution

10 2007 Infanticide-cannibalism in the

Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros

albirostris

11 2008 Take-off and landing kinetics of

a free-ranging gliding mammal,

the Malayan colugo (Galeopterus

variegatus)

Norman Lim and

Peter Ng

Reuben Clements,

Thor-Seng Liew,

Jaap Jan Vermeulen

and Menno

Schilthuizen

Chan YH, Zafirah

M, M. Cremades M.

Divet, Teo C HR Teo

and

Ng SC

Greg Byrnes,

Norman T-L Lim and

Andrew Spence

National

University of

Singapore

World

Wildlife Fund,

Universiti

Malaysia

Sabah,

National

Museum

of Natural

History,

Nationaal

Herbarium

Nederland

Nanyang

Technical

University,

Singapore

Hornbill

Project,

Jurong Bird

Park, NUH

University

of California,

Berkeley,

National

University

Singapore,

Royal

Veterinary

College

12 2008 Branching out for Cape Buffalos Gurusamy Permalo Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

13 2008 Swiveling PVC pipe feeder for

giraffe enrichment

Isa Hamzah Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

Funding

support

(local)

Funding

support

(regional)

Funding/

Facility/

collection

support

Facility/

collection

support

Journal -

Endangered

Species Research

Journal - Biology

Letters

Journal - Forktail

Journal -

Proceedings of

the Royal Society

Staff project Article - Shape of

Enrichment

Staff project Article - Shape of

Enrichment

14 2008 Enrichment contest at Singapore

Zoological Gardens

15 2008 Spinning PVC puzzle feeder for

maned wolves

Diana Marlena Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

Rajan T. Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

16 2008 Horsing around with recycled items Syarif. A Zainuddin Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

17 2009 A central role for venom in

predation by Varanus komodoensis

(Komodo Dragon) and the extinct

giant Varanus (Megalania) prisca

18 2009 Attempted predation on a

tadpole by a painted bronzeback,

Dendrelaphis pictus

19 2009 Asthenodipsas laevis A snake record

for Singapore that was almost

forgotten

20 2009 Status of the long-tailed macaque

in Singapore and implications for

management. Biodiversity and

Conservation

Bryan Fly et al. University of

Melbourne

Staff project Article - Shape of

Enrichment

Staff project Article - Shape of

Enrichment

Staff project Article - Shape of

Enrichment

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 35

T. M. Leong, C.

Yeong and R.

Subaraj

National

University of

Singapore,

Singapore

Zoo

Francis L. K. Lim Singapore

Zoo

Sha CM, Gumert M,

Lee P Y-H,

Fuentes A,

Rajathurai S,

Chan KL,

Jones-Engel L

Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore,

Nanyang

Technological

University,

National

Parks Board

Singapore,

University of

Notre Dame,

University of

Washington-

NPRC

Biomaterials

support

Facility

support

Journal -

Proceedings

of the National

Academy of

Science

Journal - Nature

in Singapore

Staff project Journal - Nature

in Singapore

Staff project Journal -

Biodiversity and

Conservation


21 2009 Macaque-human interactions

and the societal perceptions of

macaques in Singapore

22 2010 Proceedings of the 5 th International

Hornbill Conference

23 2010 Proboscis monkeys on Borneo:

who “nose” what the future holds?

24 2010 Behavioural Development in

Captive Red-shanked Douc Langurs

(Pygathrix nemaeus)

25 2011 Visitor effects on zoo orangutans in

two novel, naturalistic enclosures

Sha CM, Fuentes A,

Gumert MD,

Jones-Engel L,

Chan KL,

Lee BPYH

Biswajit Guha and

John Sha

Yeong C, Tan C &

Meijer L.

Yuanting Choo,

Peter Alan Todd,

Daiqin Li

Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore,

Nanyang

Technological

University,

National

Parks Board

Singapore,

University of

Notre Dame,

University of

Washington-

NPRC

National Parks

Board, Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

National

University of

Singapore

Staff project Journal -

American Journal

of Primatology

Funding/

workshop

Journal

supplement -

Raffles Bulletin of

Zoology

Staff project Book Chapter -

Building a Future

for Wildlife, Zoos

and Aquariums

Committed to

Biodiversity

Conservation

Staff project Book Chapter

- Conservation

of Primates in

Indochina.

Facility/

collection

support

Journal -

Applied Animal

Behaviour

Science

26 2011 An Obedient Orangutan (Pongo

abelii) Performs Perfectly in

Peripheral Object-Choice Tasks

but Fails the Standard Centrally

Presented Versions

27 2011 Asian Tapirs Are No Elephants When

It Comes To Seed Dispersal

28 2011 The king cobra, Ophiophagus

hannah (cantor) in Singapore

29 2011 The Natural History of the Proboscis

Monkey

Nicholas J. Mulcahy

and Thomas

Suddendorf

Ahimsa Campos-

Arceiz, Carl Traeholt,

Razak Jaffar, Luis

Santamaria and

Richard T. Corlett

Kelvin K. P. Lim, Tzi

Ming Leong and

Francis L. K. Lim

John Sha, Ikki

Matsuda, Henry

Bernard

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 37

University Of

Queensland

National

University of

SingaporeThe

University of

Nottingham

Malaysia

Campus,

Night Safari,

Copenhagen

Zoo, Institut

Mediterrani

d’Estudis

Avancats

National

University of

Singapore,

Wildlife

Reserves

Singapore

Singapore

Zoo, Kyoto

University,

Universiti

Malaysia

Sabah

Facility/

collection

support

Facility/

collection

support

Facility/

collection

support

Journal - Journal

of Comparative

Psychology

Journal -

Biotropica

Staff project Book

Journal - Nature

in Singapore


Conserving Resources

WRS understands that, as an organisation that champions nature conservation and

environmental issues, its own operations can be a source of inspiration and education for others.

In March 2009, WRS became the first zoological institution in Southeast Asia to be awarded

both ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications – only three out of 1,300 reputable zoos in the

world have so far achieved double certifications, the two others being Aalborg Zoo in Denmark

and Beijing Zoo in China.

The certifications provide the framework for environmental

and safety management at WRS parks. They drive WRS

to keep abreast with new environmental legislation

in a prompt manner and improve its efficiency

in monitoring the results of conservation

initiatives. They also present excellent

opportunities to inspire peers, staff

and other stakeholders to rethink

how one can contribute to

sustainable living.

WRS’ sustainable approach

will help it achieve its mission

to protect biodiversity, especially

that of local fauna and flora.

ACHIEVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY

To save energy and reduce carbon emissions, all air-conditioners are

set at optimal 24˚C and those in the corporate office are automatically

deactivated during lunchtime. Computers are installed with hibernation

modes. On-site vehicles are powered by biofuel or electricity where

possible.

Lights and fans in public areas around the Parks function through motion

sensors and pumps for waterfalls and fountains are set on timers. For new

developments, structures are designed to optimise the use of natural light,

which may be further directed to specific areas through the use of light

tubes.

Jurong Bird Park’s latest attraction, Birdz of Play features green roofs and

green vertical walls, features that are to be included in all WRS parks, as and

when opportunities arise. Green roofs and walls provide natural cooling and

insulation, and allow air conditioning to be run at more efficient levels, thus

reducing energy use.

REDUCING PLASTIC WASTE

Accumulation of plastic waste has great negative impact on the

environment and plastic degradation is known to release toxic chemicals.

WRS explored alternatives and now uses disposable tableware and food

packaging made of Corn Ware TM in some food outlets. This eco-friendly

product, made primarily from corn and yam, is biodegradable and releases

up to 68% less carbon emissions when incinerated.

Plastic bags and plastic cutlery are not issued with staff takeaway meals.

WRS staff are encouraged use their own cutlery, which reduces waste and

the emissions associated with disposable items.

Food outlets in WRS Parks sell eco-friendly bisphenol A-free water bottles to

encourage visitors to make a ‘green’ choice and reduce the consumption of

bottled water.

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 39


CONSERVING WATER RESOURCES

Water resource management in WRS includes the use of raw water (rather

than treated water) for cleaning purposes. Waste water is carefully treated

on-site before disposal to prevent pollution of the aquatic environment

around Singapore.

Features to provide for rain water collection from the roof and walls are

incorporated into building designs. The water collected is used for irrigation,

and the operation of the play equipment filtration system in Birdz of Play.

A bioswale was constructed in front of the new multi-storey car park,

which serves Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and the upcoming River Safari.

Bioswales are channels dug into gentle slopes to direct rain water into

specific areas. Rain water from the uppermost deck and water from washing

the decks of the multi-storey car park are channelled into collection pits

in the ground and then piped into the bioswale where aquatic plants like

the white star grass, cat tail and fountain grass act as bio-filters to remove

excess nitrogen and phosphorous from the water. The bioswale, with clean

water and aquatic plants, functions as a habitat for many native species

such as frogs and dragonflies.

Rainwater from uppermost deck of the new multi-storey car park at Singapore Zoo is channelled

into this bioswale. The water, filtered through bio-filters, is used to support aquactic plants,

creating a suitable habitat for frogs and dragonflies.

RECYCLING

Recycling bins for paper, plastic and aluminium in high-traffic areas are

made available to encourage visitors to recycle amongst other things, the

maps of the Parks.

WRS has reached many milestones in resource conservation through

active recycling of natural resources for exhibits, retail designs, outdoor

fixtures and other uses. 100% of food waste and 100% of elephant dung are

recycled for fertiliser. 100% of newspapers and shredded paper are recycled

for animal bedding.

One of WRS’ most innovative measures in resource conservation is recycling

cooking oil for fuel. The project, still in its infancy, promises great potential

in resource management.

To foster a greater interest in recycling, the retail outlets sell a range of

paper products made from elephant dung. WRS also hosts mobile phone

recycling programmes at Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.

SAVING THE FORESTS

Deforestation is a one of the major causes of wildlife extinction. To reduce

over-consumption of forest resources, WRS uses sugarcane paper for

administrative purposes instead of paper derived from wood. Sugar cane

paper is made from bagasse, a fibrous residue derived from sugar cane after

sugar extraction. Additionally, WRS procures napkins made from recycled

paper for its food outlets.

MAKING CHOICES FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Organic materials such as wood and attap rot easily in Singapore’s humid

environment and require frequent replacement. To prolong the life span

of structures in the Parks and reduce the usage of natural resources,

WRS replaced worn-out wooden handrails with more durable concrete

material and refurbished weathered wooden seats at the Shaw Foundation

Amphitheatre with artificial wood.

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 41


Lush aquatic vegetation in the water moats not only serves as landscaping features but also as a

conducive habitat to encourage breeding of the native species such as the four lined tree frog.

GREENING THE PARKS

The three Parks in WRS boast over 1.5 million trees and shrubs, of which

more than 70,000 were planted or replanted during the reporting year to

maintain the forest setting and to create green corridors for native animals.

WRS’ planting programme aims to reduce the reliance on energy-intensive

cooling processes through the cooling effect of plants. Hardy native species

are planted wherever possible as they can survive largely on rain water

without adding to water consumption through irrigation. No pesticides

are used on these plants and biological control is employed to reduce pest

infestation. Some of the plants also serve another purpose – the keepers

harvest foliage from 11 species of plants as fodder for the leaf monkeys and

other herbivores in Singapore Zoo.

WRS’ design principles mandate that as many trees as possible at any

development site be protected to reduce impact on the environment. All

tress affected by development are provided with a root protection zone and

design plans always work towards minimising the number of trees to be

removed. Mature trees that are inevitably affected by new development are

transplanted to other suitable locations around the Parks.

CHAMPIONING THE GREEN CAUSE

WRS Green Team was formed to actively search for ways to reduce

environmental impact. The team encourages staff to do their part in

saving energy, champions the reduction in paper usage by 5% against the

previous year and encourages recycling of printer cartridges, and recycling

old uniforms as rags. Staff are also encouraged to car pool and use public

transport.

The Green Team is spearheading the plan to gain the ECO-OFFICE

certification by Singapore Environment Council over the next few months.

This scheme analyses office operations to ensure that all operational

decisions are geared towards reducing environmental impact.

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 43


Engaging The

Community

Engaging the community is at the heart

of WRS’ mission. In addition to protecting,

preserving and restoring wildlife and

habitats, WRS plays an important role

in educating the public on wildlife

conservation and empowering individuals

to make a positive difference. Constant

engagement of the community to harness

its energy for wildlife conservation is one

of WRS’ key pillars of sustainability.

The community is engaged through

various platforms including:


EDUCATION


COMMUNITY OUTREACH & INVOLVEMENT


VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES


COMMUNITY & STAFF WELL-BEING


Education

WRS Parks take a proactive stand in public education and have in recent years, intensified

efforts to become one of the best living classrooms in the region, for the benefit of all levels of

society from students to low income families and the physically challenged.

Offering the Parks as teaching resources and nature as the ‘teacher’, the WRS education

department implements a range of programmes on nature conservation to pursue specific

learning outcomes for different segments of the community. Some programmes, such as

enrichment lessons and outreach programmes, are offered on complimentary basis.

School attendance and participation for in-park and outreach programmes:

FY 08/09 FY 09/10 FY 10/11

85,000

72,000*

87,000

145,000*

0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000

In-park and Outreach Programme School Attendance

*hand, foot and mouth outbreak adversely affected school visitation

153,000

A parent’s encouraging words…

152,000 Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 11:26 PM

To: maggie.ang@wrs.com.sg; peiying.ong@wrs.com.sg; amberly.chew@wrs.com.sg

Subject: 2-day bird quest camp

Hi ladies,

Thanks for the delivery of the CD; I’ve just received the CD showing photos taken during the 2-day Bird Quest Camp which my 3 girls

attended in Nov 2010.

I would like to express my thanks to the whole team for their efforts in making the camp a memorable event. You guys take an extra

mile in the follow up by the sending photos to all participants; the photos are simple wonderful takeaways.

To my girls, the photos brought back many sweet memories to them. In fact, on their way home back from their camp, they have

already shared interesting facts on birds such as the how to differentiate female and male snow owl etc. Now with the photos, they

were busy sharing with us on the activities during camp.

To me as a parent, the photos allow me to have an insight of what’s happened during the camp. When we enrol workshop or course

for the kids, we do not know if it really benefits the kids.

Now I’m glad that I made the right investment to register for this camp; a hefty sum of close to $400 for 3 kids considering that I’m a

stay-at-home mum!

My kids really enjoyed the camp; nowadays they just rattled off various birds - from toucan, starling, vulture, owl, Woody the pelican

(who accidentally swallowed a block of wood) to elephant bird-the extinct bird. etc.

It is this kind of interactive workshop (feel ostrich egg, feed fish to the pelican) which educate the kids (and store in their memory); no

books can ever do that in such a short period of time.

From this camp, we have a better understanding of what Jurong Bird park offer to visitors. You can be certain that we will be visiting

the bird park pretty soon; and will be more appreciative than before in viewing the birds.

Best wishes for your continued success.

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 47

Cheers,

Mrs Kim

Experential learning

involving the senses is the

key focus in promoting

nature appreciation

and conservation

education.


PARTNERS IN CONSERVATION

Realising that nature conservation can be best achieved through collective efforts, WRS

invested much effort during the year to deepen partnerships with long-time supporters and

forge meaningful collaborations with new partners.

WRS offers multidisciplinary

learning

journeys, ranging

from Wildlife

Adventure Camps,

Mobile Trails to

Wildlife Art.

Singapore’s First Animal Management Course

WRS tied up with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to launch Singapore’s first and

only animal management course. The course, which provides training

in the care, handling and husbandry of animals, laid the foundation for a

sustainable pool of well-trained animal-keeping specialists that WRS can

tap on in the future.

Other collaborative efforts include research and development, staff

exchange programmes, internships and off-campus classes for students

in the Polytechnic’s Diploma in Veterinary Bioscience programme.

• Programme For Active Learning

Collaborating with MacPherson Primary School, WRS developed and

launched the Outdoor Education curriculum as part of the Ministry

of Education’s initiative to promote active learning. The curriculum,

designed for primary one and two students, offers a great platform

to teach nature appreciation and conservation at WRS’ Parks. As this

programme spans six to eight weeks, it also provides opportunities to

evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching methodology.

• Learn Mother-Tongue At Zoo And Bird Park

WRS collaborated with the Teachers Network (now the Singapore

Academy of Teachers) and appointed three panels of teacher-authors

to produce mother-tongue resource materials in Chinese, Malay and

Tamil. The resource packs comprise storybooks that feature well-loved

animal stars of Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park, teacher guides and

activity booklets. This collaboration is a huge success as it encourages

students to learn their mother-tongues and nature conservation in a

refreshing and experiential manner. It also provides an opportunity for

teachers to showcase and publish their work. About 20% of the primary

schools in Singapore have incorporated the resource materials into their

curriculum.

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 49


Providing resource

materials such as

this publication, is

an important way to

encourage teachers

to use WRS as a

living classroom.

• Mobile Trail

A bilingual (English and Chinese) mobile trail for Wild Africa was

developed for smartphones with GPS-activation and image recognition

technology. The interactive trail enhances learning through multi-media

and social network platforms, and is delivered as part of WRS’ strategic

plan to engage the younger generation through popular technology

applications.

• Pre-School Nature Conservation Curriculum

To strengthen conservation education in the pre-school curriculum, WRS

published a resource book on Fragile Forest and Tropical Crops for preschool

educators. This book, authored by Dr Loh Wan Inn and endorsed

by Ngee Ann Polytechnic, is now used as course material for early

childhood trainee teachers.

Throughout the year, WRS participated actively in all pre-school teachers’

learning forums and People’s Action Party Community Foundation

Kindergarten Teachers’ sharing sessions and conducted four in-park preschool

training workshops.

• Train-The-Teachers Workshops

WRS conducted four workshops at Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird

Park for some 120 secondary, primary and pre-school teachers. These

workshops ranged from two to three days, allow WRS to showcase its

rich resources as teaching tools and inspire teachers to champion nature

conservation and sustainable living. These workshops are a powerful

means to spread the conservation message.

Train-the-Teachers’ Workshops are held regularly to inspire teachers to champion nature

conservation and sustainable living.

Mobile Trails offer participants the opportunity to use info-com technology to learn about wildlife,

adding a new dimension to nature appreciation.

Junior Avian Keepers having fun as they prepared buckets of fish for the pelicans.

CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 51


Community Outreach &

Involvement

Community energy has tremendous power to inspire positive actions. WRS involves the

community through empowerment and ownership as an effective way to conserve biodiversity.

Eco-Trail held on

Earth Day was

a great way to

promote sustainable

living through

community efforts.

A student from

Greenridge Primary

school constructing

a bird house with

the help of Nanyang

Polytechnic students.

• Earth Day 2010

Singapore Zoo celebrated Earth Day with tree-planting activities and

an Eco-Trail. The two-day event, held in collaboration with Northwest

Community Development Council, welcomed 240 school participants

and approximately 120 family guests. Volunteers from the Institute of

Technical Education (Bishan campus) were trained on topics such as

recycling, energy conservation and native wildlife which they shared with

the participants. Hands-on activities allowed participants to learn more

about the environment and conservation in a fun and interactive way.

Jurong Bird Park celebrated Earth Day and its 40 th anniversary with

students from Nanyang Polytechnic and Greenridge Primary School.

They worked together to build 40 bird houses to enhance the breeding

success of selected bird species. The students also learnt about different

bird species, habitats and the importance of biodiversity. Bird houses,

also known as nest boxes, are useful for monitoring breeding behaviour

and minimising aggression and competition for nesting sites. 80 to 90%

of the bird houses in the Bird Park are utilised every breeding season.

A great partnership between Nanyang Polytechnic and Greenridge Primary School saw

the completion of 40 bird houses to encourage the feathered residents of

Jurong Bird Park to breed.

• Ecokidz Quest

Ecokidz quest was held from 7 to 9 August at Singapore Zoo and 14 and

15 August at Jurong Bird Park. Volunteers from Temasek Polytechnic

and Ngee Ann Polytechnic manned various stations to raise awareness

of native wildlife through interesting educational games. A researcher’s

tent was also set up at the Zoo, with invited field researchers sharing

significant conservation and research findings.

• Frog Kits Leap To Schools

Frogs are nature’s pest controllers because they feed on mosquitoes and

other insects. They have sensitive skin and, being amphibious, they serve

as a good indicator of the health of our land and aquatic environment.

However, frogs now face threats such as climate change, pollution, fungal

disease and decreased insect populations due to increased fogging.

To promote frog conservation in Singapore, WRS staff visited the

Overseas Family School and Canadian International School to launch

‘frog kits’ which comprised the tadpoles of the native greenback frog

and four-lined tree frog, tadpole food, plastic tanks, nets, anti-chlorine

solution and information on rearing frogs for eventual release to the wild.

About 98% of the tadpoles underwent successful metamorphosis.

• Zoo Goes To Schools/Bird Park Flies To Schools

WRS spread the conservation message beyond the confines of its Park.

Dr Ooz and Dr Squawk travel to schools, shopping malls and corporate

organisations and present nature conservation in a light-hearted manner.

During the reporting year, ZGTS and BPFS reached out to 17,000 and

4,500 participants respectively.

• Year Of Forests

2011 was declared the International Year of Forests by the United

Nations. Singapore Zoo launched a Rainforest Walk guided tour along the

Treetops Trail. Visitors can now observe the feeding and enrichment of

Asian forest animals like the siamang, false gharial, greater mousedeer,

otter, tapir, babirusa and proboscis monkey.

WRS collaborated with students from Nanyang Polytechnic to produce a

series of filmlets that highlight the sustainable uses of rainforest and how

we can do our part to preserve biodiversity. The filmlets are screened at

various exhibits in WRS’ Parks and website.

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Young visitors

at Night Safari

enjoying interactive

activities to learn

about bats.

• Year of Bats

2011/12 is designated as International Year of Bats. Educational booths

were set up at Night Safari during the March school holidays to debunk

bat myths and educate visitors on bat conservation. Conservation

Ambassadors (youth volunteers) assisted in manning the booths, which

featured interactive elements such as bat tracking devices and bat

tattoos.

A survey of roosting sites of wild bats was carried out in all WRS parks

and interpretives highlighting the sites to visitors were installed. Bat

boxes for roosting were installed and more fruit trees for frugivourous

bats were planted.

• Responsible Pet Bird Ownership

A “Responsible Pet Bird Ownership” booth was set up at Jurong Bird Park

in May 2010 to educate the public on responsibile pet ownership. Jurong

Bird Park receives over 200 live bird donations every year. Many of these

donated birds were given up by owners who could no longer care for

them and most arrive in bad condition - featherless or heavily infested

with parasites. The booth displays common pet birds like the African

grey parrot, lovebirds and parakeets in suitable housing and cages, and

information on pet bird husbandry, diet and enrichment.

Avian keepers are present at the “Responsible Pet Bird Ownership” booth to share

their knowledge on bird-keeping with potential bird owners.

• Istana Open House

WRS participated in the Istana Open House during the major public

holidays to promote tiger and bat conservation. Interactive activities at

the booths were conducted by staff and volunteers.

• Mandai Forest Cleanup

WRS organised a Mandai Forest Cleanup and collected 305kg of rubbish

in just one morning. This is an annual commitment by WRS to ensure

that the wild areas in Mandai continue to be a safe and litter-free haven

for native wildlife.

• International Coastal Cleanup

WRS participated in the 3 rd International Coastal Cleanup and collected a

total of 418kg of rubbish at the adopted Pandan Mangrove.

Wildlife Times And Wildlife Wonders

Wildlife Times, an electronic monthly newsletter which serves to

highlight WRS’ education and conservation effort, was launched in July

2010. The newsletter is disseminated to some 130,000 email addresses

and the community welcomes the opportunity to learn more about WRS’

work in nature conservation.

Wildlife Wonders, a quarterly magazine, reaches out to some 500,000

readers, particularly children, each year. The magazine is available on-line

to WRS members free-of-charge.

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Volunteering Opportunities

WRS offers volunteering opportunities as an important means of empowering individuals to

contribute to environmental and wildlife preservation. Significant resources have been invested

towards developing a comprehensive volunteer programme. A Volunteer Engagement Unit

(VEU) with three full-time staff, was set up in March 2011 to harness the energy and expertise

from well-minded individuals who embrace WRS’ green ethos.

A total of 1,726 volunteers served at WRS’ Park from April 2010 to March 2011:

Type of volunteers

Docents

Conservation

Ambassadors

Wildlife Buddies

School Exposure

Programme

Teacher

Volunteers

Zoology Volunteers

No.

230

148

1125

210

8

5

Notes

• Adults (21 yrs & above)

• Two-month training

• Mainly ranger station activities & guided tours at

three Parks.

• Youth (15 yrs & above)

• Two-day training

• Serve as guides at various exhibits in three Parks

• Students

(organised school groups led by teachers)

• One-day training

• Serve as guides or station masters for fellow

students, international students on exchange

programme, disadvantaged kids, the elderly and

physically challenged.

• Students, at least 15 years old

• Attached to Education, C&R, Zoology, Veterinary,

Avian

• A collaboration with Singapore Teachers Academy

• Attachment To Education Department

• Duration two to ten weeks

• Candidates of Corrective Work Order.

• Collaboration with Ministry for Community

Development, Youth and Sports

Conservation Ambassador at Bird Discovery Centre Jurong Bird Park conducting a guided tour.

The SPH Foundation Conservation

Ambassador programme at Singapore Zoo

and Night Safari enhances visitor experience

by promoting nature appreciation.

Working adults from the community can

serve as volunteers and contribute to

conservation education through WRS’

Docent programme.

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Community Well-being Staff Well-being

WRS’ Parks are 90% accessible to the physically challenged. Interpretives in

Braille are installed in selected exhibits at Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird

Park to provide a better visitor experience for the visually handicapped.

As part of an on-going Corporate Social Responsibility programme, WRS

is the first organisation to collaborate with the National Council of Social

Service (NCSS) and extend free park admission to 2,000 people with special

needs and seniors with dementia. Accompanying caregivers are also given a

discount on admission.

WRS has also worked with People’s Association and Mediacorp to subsidise

admission fees for low-income visitors.

To provide a healthy and clean environment for visitors and also the

animals, WRS’ Parks have gone smoke-free, in support of Singapore’s smokefree

campaign.

Visually handicapped visitors enjoying a tactile encounter with a green iguana at Singapore Zoo.

In its journey towards realising its vision to be the foremost wildlife

institution in the world, WRS is constantly growing and developing its

talent pool. Around 2% of WRS’ annual payroll is allocated for learning and

development opportunities. This is to ensure that employees have avenues

to enhance their competence, keep abreast of new developments in the

industry and equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and skills for

high performance and productivity.

Learning and development, especially through overseas and local trips,

have consistently engaged and motivated WRS employees to go that

extra mile for the organisation and guests. Employees are encouraged to

undergo more than 40 hours of training per year. Every WRS employee is

equipped with the skill sets to provide a memorable wildlife experience for

visitors. Staff are also offered two eco-trips per year to learn more about

environmental issues in Singapore. Other innovative measures to improve

staff well-being include complimentary park tickets, birthday leave and a

weekly fruit day.

WRS has developed its community and staff management policy with a

focus on excellent nature conservation and a healthy and safe environment

for wildlife and people. It strives to develop a competent work force that is

committed to the environment through:

C omplying with applicable legislation;

A dopting best practices and continually improving our environmental,

health and safety standards to prevent pollution, minimise workplace

risks, conserve nature and protect our wildlife and environment;

R educing, re-using and recycling of resources; and

E ducating staff and visitors about nature conservation.

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Sustainability Plans

For The Future

In an increasingly populated world with finite

resources, we can no longer ignore the impact

of our actions on the environment. The way

forward is to adopt a sensible and

sustainable lifestyle. This section discusses

WRS’ approach to being an ecologicallyintelligent

organisation through:


SETTING FRAMEWORKS AND GOALS FOR

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTS


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF RIVER SAFARI


Setting Frameworks and Goals

For Sustainable Development

Over the next few years, WRS will focus on audited and quantitative measures to lead the

organisation towards ambitious long-term targets for sustainability. It will embark on the

following:

• Complete an audited Carbon Footprint of WRS’ operations to highlight

areas that contribute to climate change as a result of CO 2 , Methane and

HFCs emissions, and make recommendations to reduce the adverse

impact.

• Set targets for emissions reductions on a per-capita basis (per staff and

visitor per year), and implement measures such as improved energy

efficiency technologies, increased usage of bio-diesel in vehicles,

generation of natural gas from waste, installation of more energyefficient

fittings, and reduction of overall transport miles.

• Pursue the ISO 14064 certification for the measurement and reduction of

greenhouse gases.

• Produce a full biodiversity survey of Park lands to better understand and

support the natural wildlife.

• Conduct full benchmarking of WRS’ energy and water usage, and waste

production. A full scale energy audit is currently being prepared by Asia

Carbon and an internal waste and water audit is being conducted.

• Pursue an ECO-OFFICE certification for WRS’ internal operations

• Pursue platinum award for the Green Mark Building certification for new

developments such as River Safari.

Our short-term objective is the publication of a fully audited sustainability report outlining the

factors we are measuring, detailing our current performance and setting targets for the futre. In

five years’ time, WRS hopes to have the most comprehensive set of sustainability data of any park

in Southeast Asia and comprehensive, clearly documented and far-reaching set of strategies and

targets to reduce carbon emissions, waste production and energy and water consumption.

The upcoming River Safari will offer ample opportunities to educate visitors on conservation of

freshwater ecosystems and protection of Singapore’s precious water resources.

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Sustainable Development of

River Safari

WRS is developing its fourth park, River Safari, which is scheduled to open in the third quarter

of 2012.

River Safari, Asia’s first freshwater-themed wildlife park, will showcase some of the major rivers

of the world. By bringing visitors up close to freshwater ecosystems and the related species,

WRS hopes to inspire people to care for and take positive action in the preservation of these

habitats, which are vanishing faster than terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Concepts of environmental sustainability are embedded into all aspects of River Safari’s

development, from a strong emphasis on education and conservation to the way it is built.

Besides minimising depletion of natural resources and using environmentally friendly products

in construction, the development minimises disturbance to existing wildlife habitats and

creates new ones to support a greater biodiversity of flora and fauna.

The following key features balance the vision, function and environment of a wildlife haven in

the making:

• Minimise impact of construction

of River Safari

• Resource management

• Champion freshwater

conservation

• Preserving and

conserving local

biodiversity

• Contiguous green

corridor for native

wildlife

Giant Pandas, Jia Jia

and Kai Kai, will act

as our conservation

ambassadors when River

Safari opens in late 2012.

Construction of

River Safari is

guided by green

practices.

MINIMISE IMPACT OF CONSTRUCTION OF

RIVER SAFARI

River Safari is located between Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. Every effort

is being made to reduce the impact of River Safari’s construction on the

environment. Mature trees at intervals no greater than 30 metres were

retained and green zones were planted to serve as temporary sanctuaries

for wildlife affected by the construction. Construction hours are carefully

managed so that the animals at Singapore Zoo and Night Safari are not

adversely affected by noise and pollution.

Prevention of erosion is a very important aspect of River Safari’s sustainable

construction plan. Demolition works and earth works are carefully

planned to reduce exposed ground surfaces and to retain as much

existing vegetation as possible. Exposed ground surfaces are covered with

canvas sheets during rainy weather and at the end of each workday. Earth

stockpiles are protected by erosion control blankets.

Earth control measures are firmly in place with concrete perimeter cutoff

drains and storage tanks to prevent silt from entering the reservoir.

Turbidity curtains are installed and water quality closely monitored on a

weekly basis. Silt traps and fences are installed at designated locations to

prevent spilling of silt beyond construction sites. Silted water is treated

using treatment systems such as sedimentation and coagulation tanks.

An innovative and environmentally friendly green bag system is used

for the retaining walls along the periphery of water bodies. This soft

engineering system provides a green solution for bank protection, erosion

control and soil retention. Green bags provide an ideal environment for

vegetation growth which further enhances greenery, reduces carbon

footprint and provides new habitats for wildlife.

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RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Every effort is made to use energy efficient lights, air conditioners and

equipment for River Safari. Boat rides will be powered by gravity and water

level differential.

A water efficient management plan is implemented to minimise water

wastage and monitor water consumption. Rainwater storage systems and

recycled water systems will be installed and used throughout River Safari.

Recycling of resources is well practised. Felled trees are recycled for

landscaping animal exhibits and topsoil is recycled for new planter beds.

CHAMPION FOR WATER CONSERVATION

Environmental sustainability demands a committed stewardship over

natural resources like water. Only 3% of water on earth exists as freshwater.

With an expected annual visitorship of 700,000, River Safari is designed

to bring visitors up close to the fascinating underwater and terrestrial

animals that live in freshwater ecosystems, and highlight the importance of

freshwater conservation.

Throughout River Safari, informative green messages will be prominently

placed to educate visitors on the importance of water and freshwater

habitat conservation.

Water design features like bioswales, rain gardens and a floating wetland

will help to reinforce the message of water conservation to visitors.

Various in-park and outreach education programmes will be conducted

to educate students on freshwater ecosystems and provide ample

opportunities for students to participate in projects to conserve local

biodiversity. River Safari will also aid in the preservation of endangered

freshwater species through captive breeding programmes.

Straw-headed Bulbul

PRESERVING AND CONSERVING LOCAL ECOLOGY

A Biodiversity Impact Assessment was conducted to investigate the

botanical and zoological conditions of River Safari site. The study suggested

that the ecology of the site has the potential to support a greater diversity

and population of native wildlife and encouraged WRS to roll out an

ambitious plan to bring this to fruition.

Existing water bodies are preserved and enhanced to support larger populations

of amphibians and odonates (dragonflies and damselflies). Additionally,

bioswales and biotopes are created to provide new habitats for these animals.

River Safari will be planted up with more than 13,000 trees and plants,

comprising about 110 species. This is more than 10 times the number of

plants to be removed. These luxuriant green zones will support a greater

diversity of wildlife including 21 locally threatened species and the globally

threatened straw-headed bulbul.

Large trees and shrubs will be planted to provide arboreal habitats and

corridors for reptiles. Much of the reservoir edge habitats for bird species

like kingfishers and herons will remain intact. Native shrubs, ferns and

undergrowth will be planted for birds like water hens and moorhens.

Natural food resources for butterflies will be provided by planting host plants

in suitable habitats. New water bodies throughout River Safari will support

freshwater insects, molluscs and crustaceans which are food resources for birds.

Populations of invertebrates and amphibians will be established to serve as prey

for reptiles like the threatened green-crested lizard. More flowering and fruiting

plants will be nurtured to sustain wild populations of native birds and Malayan

flying fox.

Additional nesting grounds will be provided for birds like collared

kingfishers. Cavities and shallow tunnels will be created along river banks,

artificial mud walls and retaining walls along the periphery of water bodies.

Rehabilitated native bird species like the oriental pied hornbill and bulbul will

be released into the enhanced habitats. The presence of introduced birds will

attract non-territorial species from adjoining areas. Coupled with increased

breeding expected from additional food resources and nesting areas, the

diversity and population of birdlife in River Safari will be greatly enhanced.

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Blue-collared

Kingfisher


CONTIGUOUS GREEN CORRIDOR FOR NATIVE WILDLIFE

Mature trees sustain viable ecosystems and provide important habitats

and passageway for arboreal species like colugos. Colugos are gliding

animals that require tall trees as launch pads. There are only two species of

colugos in the world, one of which is the endangered Malayan colugo.

The local population of free ranging Malayan colugos is concentrated

in the Mandai precinct. To create a contiguous green corridor spanning

Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve,

mature trees will be preserved and more trees will be planted at intervals

not greater than 30 metres. This will allow colugos and other forest

specialists to move safely throughout the Mandai precinct to forage and

breed, thereby ensuring their continued survival.

Rope crossings and elevated walkways provide additional green corridors

for wildlife like squirrels and snakes to forage and move between habitats.

The colugo or flying lemur and plantain squirrel are among the native

species that WRS is committed to protect.

Only after the last tree

has been cut down,

Only after the last river

has been poisoned,

Only after the last fish

has been caught,

Only then will you find

that money cannot

be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

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WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Conserving Biodiversity

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