Target poachers, not wildlife photographers

The report on April 26 (Photographer fined for baiting birds) stated that it was the second time in seven months that a nature enthusiast had been hauled to court for feeding birds in a park.

In the latest case, the nature photographer was fined for feeding birds at the Singapore Botanic Gardens without authority. Ironically, in the same park, visitors can often be seen feeding the swans and pigeons.

In fact, I have seen people feeding the birds with potato chips and leftover food from picnic baskets.

Does the no-feeding law apply only to some species of birds?

The photographer was also fined for placing his tripod on the forest floor instead of on the marked walkway.

There are other important areas where the National Parks Board should deploy its enforcement officers, such as in the forested areas of Lower Peirce, Lorong Halus and Pasir Ris Park, just to name a few, where poaching activity appears to be rampant.

Given how narrow the boardwalk was, he might have been trying to be considerate to avoid blocking the way of other park users.

Would placing a tripod off-trail really damage the forest floor?

There are other important areas where the National Parks Board should deploy its enforcement officers, such as in the forested areas of Lower Peirce, Lorong Halus and Pasir Ris Park, just to name a few, where poaching activity appears to be rampant.

Often, poachers can be seen carrying traps and laying out nets.

Is poaching not a more serious offence than the mere feeding of birds, or the taking of wildlife photos?

David Tan Kok Kheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2017, with the headline 'Target poachers, not wildlife photographers'. Print Edition | Subscribe