Forum: Measures taken to manage macaques in residential areas

We thank Mr Kenneth Leong Sheng Shun for his letter (Wildlife too close for comfort in residential estate, March 8).

The National Parks Board (NParks) adopts a community- and science-based approach in managing wildlife in Singapore, including long-tailed macaques. We have contacted the writer to understand and address his concerns, and share the mitigation measures we have carried out in his estate, such as monkey guarding, and steps that residents can take to minimise macaque intrusion.

Long-tailed macaques are forest-fringe creatures that move between forest patches in search of food and territory. In areas where there are macaque encounters, targeted mitigation measures, such as reducing the availability of food, are implemented.

Measures include prohibiting the feeding of wildlife, ensuring proper waste disposal, harvesting fruit trees, installing monkey-proof fittings, conducting monkey guarding, and translocating individual monkeys where appropriate.

Long-term population control measures, such as sterilisation, are being carefully studied, and will be implemented where appropriate.

NParks also carries out population surveys and research studies to understand the distribution of wildlife throughout Singapore’s nature areas. This helps NParks identify areas that may require mitigation measures, such as habitat modification, and implement outreach and engagement programmes for residents living near green spaces on how to minimise home intrusions.

We wish to issue this advisory to residents: If macaques approach you in the open, remain calm and quiet, and do not make any sudden movements or maintain eye contact with them. Instead, look away and back off slowly.

Keep away from the area until they have left. Macaques also associate plastic bags with the presence of food and will try to snatch them on sight. We advise members of the public to keep plastic bags out of macaques’ sight when spotted.

Members of the public may also call the 24-hour Animal Response Centre on 1800-476-1600 for wildlife-related issues.

Adrian Loo (Dr)
Group Director, Wildlife Management
National Parks Board

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