Make Mandai Road vehicle-light to reduce roadkill

In a still from a dashcam video sent to The Straits Times by reader Donn Soh, the rare sambar deer made a sudden dash across the road in a split-second appearance. along Mandai Road.
In a still from a dashcam video sent to The Straits Times by reader Donn Soh, the rare sambar deer made a sudden dash across the road in a split-second appearance. along Mandai Road. VIDEO: DONN SOH

The reports on the incidents of roadkill involving the critically endangered leopard cat and Sunda pangolin, as well as the rare sambar deer are deeply troubling (Animals affected by Mandai park works: Wildlife groups; March 24).

The animal deaths took place close to where the new Rainforest Park and relocated Bird Parkare being constructed.

Any road mortality involving our native wildlife, especially an endangered species, is one too many.

Developer Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) in 2016 had stated that mitigation measures at the construction and operation phases of the new development would reduce its impact on wildlife and that it was committed to being a responsible steward of nature.

MPH should keep its word.

This large new development sits next to our fragile Central Catchment Nature Reserve, where rare native species of our flora and fauna are found.

Hence, we would like to see smaller-scale developments and more effective mitigation measures.

We applaud the traffic-calming measures implemented, and that underground culverts are being retained along Mandai Lake Road for the safe passage of ground-dwelling wildlife.

But to effectively prevent more roadkill incidents involving endangered species, Mandai Lake Road should be made vehicle-light at the very least.

At best, the bigger Mandai Road should be diverted away from the wildlife-sensitive areas of theCentral Catchment Nature Reserve and moved north.

The new road could be designed to be Singapore's first wildlife-friendly road, while the current road becomes a park or is reforested.

Vilma D'Rozario (Ms)

President

Cicada Tree Eco-Place

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2018, with the headline 'Make Mandai Road vehicle-light to reduce roadkill'. Print Edition | Subscribe