Replies: Wildlife management

Enhanced approach taken for City in Nature

We refer to the letter, "Have long-term plan to ensure monkeys, humans do not encroach on each other's spaces" (June 17).

The National Parks Board (NParks) has recently enhanced its community and science-based approach to wildlife management to more effectively manage Singapore's wildlife while ensuring public health and safety.

This is done through four main prongs: public education, community stewardship, population ecology and population management.

For example, NParks studies long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) to understand their behaviour and their movement and activity patterns.

Islandwide monitoring of macaques also provides information on the factors that contribute to their population, such as carrying capacity of our forests and natural resources available.

In areas where long-tailed macaque encounters occur often, mitigation measures such as making human food less available are used. This is done by enforcing the law against the feeding of wildlife, ensuring proper waste disposal, harvesting fruit trees, installing monkey-proof fittings, monkey guarding and translocating individual macaques where appropriate.

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

Additionally, NParks will work with development owners and other stakeholders to build up facility management capabilities in residential estates and better manage the community's encounters with wildlife. For instance, building managers and security personnel will be trained by NParks officers to carry out monkey guarding. This will herd and condition monkeys to stay away from a certain area. Over time, this will reduce monkey-human encounters in the area.

We also work closely with other agencies, nature groups, academics and volunteers to foster a better understanding, appreciation and stewardship of Singapore's wildlife among the community.

As Singapore transforms into a City in Nature and people enjoy the benefits of being closer to nature, NParks welcomes the community to join us in our efforts and to be stewards of our natural heritage. Those who are interested can participate in our citizen science activities, school programmes, outreach and engagement activities, or find out more at www.nparks.gov.sg/ partner-us/volunteer

We also hold public webinars on human-wildlife encounters in our City in Nature, which are available on the NParks YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/NParksSG

Adrian Loo (Dr)

Group Director/Wildlife Management

National Parks Board

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2022, with the headline Enhanced approach taken for City in Nature. Subscribe