4 new eco-corridors for Singapore; Lower Seletar Reservoir Park expanded
4 new eco-corridors for Singapore; Lower Seletar Reservoir Park expanded. Lower Seletar Reservoir Park will be expanded, and two new parks will be built as part of a new nature corridor connecting the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Khatib Bongsu Nature Park.
The Khatib Nature Corridor is one of four new ecological corridors announced by the National Parks Board (NParks) on Monday (June 6), as part of a study to better understand the ecological links between the island’s green spaces.
Each corridor serves as a highway for wildlife, allowing them to travel to other forest patches in search of mates and food.
Lim Chu Kang, Kranji, and Seletar are the other three corridors. If these areas are developed, nature corridors consisting of retained forested patches, parks, tree and shrub-lined routes, and park connectors will be established, and more information will be shared when it is available.
Another potential corridor in the eastern region has been identified, running through the Paya Lebar Air Base area, and NParks is investigating how to establish a nature corridor there in tandem with air base redevelopment plans.
The ecological corridors were announced as part of the exhibition of Singapore’s long-term development plans for the next 50 years and beyond.
According to the board, its study, formally known as the ecological profiling exercise, was carried out in consultation with a 14-member scientific advisory panel.
The study, which was first announced in February of last year and was completed earlier this year, identified the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the upcoming Khatib Bongsu Nature Park as core habitats for more rare and native species.
It has established the Khatib Nature Corridor, which includes forested sites at Springleaf, Tagore, Miltonia Close, along Lower Seletar Reservoir, and the existing Springleaf Nature Park, to connect the two.
The two new parks within the corridor will be part of future developments in the Springleaf and Miltonia Close neighborhoods.
Springleaf, which is bounded by the Seletar Expressway, Mandai Road, and Upper Thomson Road, will get new homes, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
Nee Soon Nature Park, one of the area’s new developments, will feature a rare freshwater swamp forest habitat.
The new park, which will cover 10 to 15 hectares, will be an extension of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve’s Nee Soon Swamp Forest, Singapore’s last remaining primary freshwater swamp forest.
The park, which will be built in tandem with nearby mixed-use developments, will also act as a buffer for the nature reserve.
Meanwhile, a 6.4ha nature park will open in Miltonia Close, an area being developed by the Housing Board.
NParks stated that it collaborated with HDB to create this park, which serves as a wildlife crossing point between Khatib Bongsu and the Central Catchment Area.
A natural stream and riparian habitat that runs through the area, as well as a portion of a forested area, will be preserved. Riparian habitats are found along rivers or streams.
According to NParks, the establishment of this park supports the conservation of important coastal flora and fauna species such as the panaga laut and the buffy fish owl.
The park will be built alongside HDB developments in the surrounding area.
Lower Seletar Reservoir Park will be 16.5ha larger along the reservoir’s northern bank.
When Orchid Country Club, which currently occupies the site, returns to the state after 2030 – its lease expires on December 31, that year – NParks said it will look into conducting habitat restoration along the waterfront.
The extension will be finished when the club’s land is redeveloped.
In addition, more than 20 kilometers of new recreational trails in the Lower Seletar Reservoir and Khatib areas will be added, bringing the total length of trails there to 80 kilometers.
According to Shawn Lum, a botanist on the study’s advisory panel, the study combined expert knowledge of local ecosystems with rigorous, data-intensive, model-based planning.
“We kept what we’ve traditionally been good at and combined it with the most recent in analytical approaches to produce results that neither approach could have achieved alone,” he explained.
“The Seletar corridor was particularly interesting in that the exercise highlighted potential connectivity that had not previously received much attention,” he added.
Dr. Lum stated that for this corridor, modeling revealed the ecological value of an underutilized area, and expert knowledge aided in shaping the path and configuration of the identified corridor.
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