WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
A Sustainable Future
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
The three key sustainability components discussed
in this document are:
CONSERVATION FOR ALL
ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY
SUSTAINABILITY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
02 CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE
04 LEADERSHIP TEAM
06 CONSERVATION FOR ALL
• Conserving Biodiversity
• Conserving Resources
08 ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY
• 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
“When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.”
~ John Muir, naturalist and conservationist
CHAIRMAN, WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
WRS LEADERSHIP TEAM
Inspiring wildlife conservation
Sales, marketing &
Dr Serena Oh,
Chief Operating Officer
Lim Poh Guan,
Thang Koon Tee,
Lim Kai Huat,
Lok May Kuen,
Compliance & Control
Cham Tud Yinn,
Exhibit Design & Development
Corporate Services & HSSE
Jurong Bird Park
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
PHOTO: WILLIAM NAI
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
• Sharing expertise
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
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
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
• 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
Night Safari Singapore Zoo
• Sunda pangolin
• Asian elephant
• Douc langur
• Proboscis monkey
• Siamang gibbon
• Sumatran orang utan
• cotton-top tamarin
• white rhino
• pygmy hippo
• River terrapin
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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
• 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.
using twigs to ‘fish’ out
honey from an artificial
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
care for birds
and to share best
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
The green crested
lizard is rarely seen
now because it has
by an introduced
• 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
• Effects of habitat disturbance on canopy amphibians and reptiles in
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
conflict has become
a serious concern in
It is hoped that
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
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
• 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
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The leopard cat
was thought to have
become extinct in
Singapore. In June
2001, a roadkill
was found along
raising hope that a
small population still
roams in our forests.
• Ecology and conservation of leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) in
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
• 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
• 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
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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.
programme and provision
for nest boxes have
results – sightings
of the oriental pied
hornbill have reported a
Captured on film!
A common palm civet
found in the urban area
of Siglap, eastern part
• 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
finds it increasing
difficult to locate
ginger, which is
the food source of
• 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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special light organs
located under their
little is known about
the life cycle of our
local species and it is
to breed them.
Right: Students from
fireflies, bred at Night
Safari, in Pasir Ris
Mangrove Park. WRS
hopes to repopulate
fireflies in Singapore
for all to enjoy their
• 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
is one of the 25
primates in the
world, threatened by
habitat destruction of
its forest home.
Jurong Bird Park
has been successful
in breeding the
Bali Mynah, and
is working toward
enhancing the wild
population in Bali.
• Mitigating Human-Elephant Conflict in Way Kambas National Park,
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
• 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.
inspire the youth
to play an active
role in nature
a platform for
them to share
with members of
• 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
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Survey of soil and leaf litter faunal
diversity in Singapore’s forests.
genetics and comparative
morphological study of
raccoon dog in East Asia.
Genetic Analysis of
Asian Golden Cat Population
National University Of Singapore
Conservation Genome Resource
Bank for Korean Wildlife
Fordham University and the
American Museum of Natural
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)
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.
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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
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
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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
The Conservation of Asian Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles -
Setting Priorities for the Next Ten Years
(funded by WRSCF)
The first Southeast
Asian Animal Training &
The Asian Pangolin
0 10 20 30 40
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
YEAR TITLE AUTHOR INSTITUTION PROJECT
1 2004 Can Proboscis Monkeys Be
Successfully Maintained in
Captivity? A Case of Swings and
2 2004 Habitat use by Malay Tapir
(Tapirus indicus) in West Sumatra,
3 2005 Population, diet and conservation
of Malayan flying Lemurs in
altered and fragmented habitats in
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
and Minna.J. Hsu
Santi N Karimah,
Siew Te Won,
Serena Oh, Paolo
Martelli, Oh Soon
Hock, Sonja Luz,
6 2006 Proboscis monkey odyssey John Sha and Henry
7 2006 Limestone Karsts of Southeast Asia:
Imperiled Arks of Biodiversity
and Peter Ng
CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 33
Staff project Journal -
Journal - Tapir
Staff project Journal -
Journal - Journal
Staff project Journal -
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
10 2007 Infanticide-cannibalism in the
Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros
11 2008 Take-off and landing kinetics of
a free-ranging gliding mammal,
the Malayan colugo (Galeopterus
Norman Lim and
Jaap Jan Vermeulen
Chan YH, Zafirah
M, M. Cremades M.
Divet, Teo C HR Teo
Norman T-L Lim and
12 2008 Branching out for Cape Buffalos Gurusamy Permalo Wildlife
13 2008 Swiveling PVC pipe feeder for
Isa Hamzah Wildlife
Journal - Biology
Journal - Forktail
the Royal Society
Staff project Article - Shape of
Staff project Article - Shape of
14 2008 Enrichment contest at Singapore
15 2008 Spinning PVC puzzle feeder for
Diana Marlena Wildlife
Rajan T. Wildlife
16 2008 Horsing around with recycled items Syarif. A Zainuddin Wildlife
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,
19 2009 Asthenodipsas laevis A snake record
for Singapore that was almost
20 2009 Status of the long-tailed macaque
in Singapore and implications for
management. Biodiversity and
Bryan Fly et al. University of
Staff project Article - Shape of
Staff project Article - Shape of
Staff project Article - Shape of
CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY 35
T. M. Leong, C.
Yeong and R.
Francis L. K. Lim Singapore
Sha CM, Gumert M,
Lee P Y-H,
of the National
Journal - Nature
Staff project Journal - Nature
Staff project Journal -
21 2009 Macaque-human interactions
and the societal perceptions of
macaques in Singapore
22 2010 Proceedings of the 5 th International
23 2010 Proboscis monkeys on Borneo:
who “nose” what the future holds?
24 2010 Behavioural Development in
Captive Red-shanked Douc Langurs
25 2011 Visitor effects on zoo orangutans in
two novel, naturalistic enclosures
Sha CM, Fuentes A,
Biswajit Guha and
Yeong C, Tan C &
Peter Alan Todd,
Staff project Journal -
Raffles Bulletin of
Staff project Book Chapter -
Building a Future
for Wildlife, Zoos
Staff project Book Chapter
of Primates in
26 2011 An Obedient Orangutan (Pongo
abelii) Performs Perfectly in
Peripheral Object-Choice Tasks
but Fails the Standard Centrally
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
Nicholas J. Mulcahy
Arceiz, Carl Traeholt,
Razak Jaffar, Luis
Richard T. Corlett
Kelvin K. P. Lim, Tzi
Ming Leong and
Francis L. K. Lim
John Sha, Ikki
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Journal - Journal
Staff project Book
Journal - Nature
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
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
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
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
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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
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 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.
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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
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.
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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:
COMMUNITY OUTREACH & INVOLVEMENT
COMMUNITY & STAFF WELL-BEING
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
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
A parent’s encouraging words…
152,000 Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 11:26 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: 2-day bird quest camp
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
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.
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involving the senses is the
key focus in promoting
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
Mobile Trails to
• 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
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materials such as
this publication, is
an important way to
to use WRS as a
• 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
• 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
• 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.
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Community Outreach &
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
A student from
a bird house with
the help of Nanyang
• 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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at Night Safari
activities to learn
• 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
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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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
• Adults (21 yrs & above)
• Two-month training
• Mainly ranger station activities & guided tours at
• Youth (15 yrs & above)
• Two-day training
• Serve as guides at various exhibits in three Parks
(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
• Students, at least 15 years old
• Attached to Education, C&R, Zoology, Veterinary,
• 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’
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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
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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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
SETTING FRAMEWORKS AND GOALS FOR
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
WRS is developing its fourth park, River Safari, which is scheduled to open in the third quarter
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
• Minimise impact of construction
of River Safari
• Resource management
• Champion freshwater
• Preserving and
• Contiguous green
corridor for native
Giant Pandas, Jia Jia
and Kai Kai, will act
as our conservation
ambassadors when River
Safari opens in late 2012.
River Safari is
guided by green
MINIMISE IMPACT OF CONSTRUCTION OF
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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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
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
Throughout River Safari, informative green messages will be prominently
placed to educate visitors on the importance of water and freshwater
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.
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
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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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
Cree Indian Prophecy
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WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE