Singapore

NParks: No more guided walks on wildlife bridge

The National Parks Board (NParks) has no plans to continue giving guided walks on a wildlife bridge used by rare animals that is otherwise off-limits to the public.

A notice on the NParks website said the guided walks on Eco-Link @ BKE are postponed "until further notice".

The walks were last conducted between late 2015 and January last year.

NParks group director for conservation Wong Tuan Wah said animals such as the critically endangered Sunda pangolin, slender squirrel, common palm civet and various birds and snakes have been found using the bridge.

The walks were stopped to limit human impact on it.

Mr Wong said: "In order not to affect the animals' movement patterns and to allow more animals to adapt and use the eco-link, subsequent walks were not scheduled."

The $16 million bridge, which links the Central Catchment and Bukit Timah nature reserves, was completed in 2013. Human access to the bridge was restricted to allow vegetation to grow and let wildlife get used to the bridge.

In November 2015, NParks said it would organise eight guided walks over the next two months. Each walk was capped at 20 people with the aim helping them learn about the nature reserves and animals that use the link.

The bridge allows animals to move between the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment nature reserves. This is important because the island's nature areas are fragmented by urban development.

Being able to move from forest to forest will help animals feed and breed without becoming isolated. But the presence of humans on the bridge could deter them from using the bridge.

Mr Wong said NParks officers have caught people trying to visit the eco-link on their own and issued advisories to remind them not to do so. - THE STRAITS TIMES

FOR MORE, READ THE STRAITS TIMES TODAY

national parks boardBUKIT TIMAH EXPRESSWAY (BKE)Bukit Timah