'Squeeze factor' the root cause of roadkill

The installation of fences along Mandai Lake Road to prevent wildlife from getting on to the roads and ending up as roadkill is a good effort by the authorities to protect the animals.

However, fences are good only for certain species of wildlife, particularly those that are larger.

They will not be able to stop reptiles, which have strong climbing abilities. For such animals, it will take more than just fences.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the root cause of these problems is the "squeeze factor" - the displacement of wildlife to urban space due to development.

The upcoming ecotourism project in Mandai, which is expected to attract more than 10 million visitors each year, could put more stress on wildlife there. On the upside, the ecotourism project could serve as a look-out, alerting the authorities when animals are treading into dangerous areas.

The developers and government agencies should work with the relevant non-governmental organisations to achieve better outcomes.

Elwin Tay Jing Huang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline ''Squeeze factor' the root cause of roadkill'. Subscribe