Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Kranji Marshes, largest freshwater marshland in Singapore, opens

By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, 2 Feb 2016

Even in built-up Singapore, there are places where nature and wildlife thrive.

The Kranji Marshes, for instance, is home to 54 species of butterflies, 33 species of dragonflies and more than 170 species of birds - including the critically endangered straw-headed bulbul.

The area was officially opened yesterday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the National Parks Board (NParks), which have been developing the area in collaboration with the Nature Society Singapore (NSS) and national water agency PUB since May 2014.

Even before then, NSS volunteers had helped to clear overgrown vegetation to build a suitable habitat for the wildlife.

Located in north-western Singapore, near the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the 56.8ha Kranji Marshes is roughly the size of 60 football fields. It is the largest and most accessible freshwater marshland in Singapore, compared with the two other known freshwater marshlands here: the pond in Tampines Eco Green and Poyan Reservoir in the SAFTI Live Firing Area.

To help visitors learn more about the marsh, woodland and grass habitats in the nature area, there will be information on signboards and free guided walks by NParks and NSS.

Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, was guest of honour at the opening held ahead of World Wetlands Day today.

He said: "In our dense urban landscape, nature conservation and greenery provision are key to the high-quality physical environment that we are so proud of.

"We will continue to make best use of the greenery we have, through projects like Kranji Marshes, and many others."

[New nature area - Kranji Marshes]Did you know that the Red-wattled Lapwing employs the art of distraction to protect...
Posted by NParks - Let's Make Singapore Our Garden on Sunday, January 31, 2016

本地自然爱好者又有多一个休闲好去处!经过19个月的细心策划与筹备,克兰芝湿地(Kranji Marshes)今天正式开放给公众。现在就让我们一起去探索。。。
Posted by Lianhe Zaobao on Monday, February 1, 2016

Visitors to Kranji Marshes can enjoy a 1km stroll
By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, 2 Feb 2016

As the world celebrates World Wetlands Day today, Singapore marked the occasion with the official opening of the largest freshwater marshland in the Republic yesterday.

The Kranji Marshes, a 56.8ha freshwater marshland in north- western Singapore, is home to a wide array of plants and animals, including colourful birds such as the blue-eared kingfisher and the common flameback.

The marshland was opened by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the National Parks Board (NParks).

The marshes are divided into two main areas. The core conservation area, considered ecologically sensitive, is not open to the public except those on guided walks.

On the limited access, Mr Wong Tuan Wah, NParks' director of conservation, explained: "We have just completed development and vegetation has not grown back yet.

"We want (the marsh) to establish itself first, perhaps for the next six months to one year... If we find that wildlife has returned, we will consider opening it to the public."

WATCH: Have a peek at what visitors will see at the newly-opened Kranji Marshes. NParks - Let's Make Singapore Our Garden
Posted by 938LIVE on Sunday, January 31, 2016

Still, those keen on visiting the marshes can enjoy a 1km stroll along Neo Tiew Lane 2, where they can observe nature in the Neo Tiew Woods and try to spot nationally threatened bird species, such as the grey-headed fish eagle and the changeable hawk eagle.

For a bird's-eye view of the marsh within the ecologically sensitive area, visitors can go up the 10.65m Raptor Tower in the public area.

The marshland was created when Kranji River was dammed in the 1970s. That caused the surrounding low-lying areas to become flooded, forming a freshwater marshland.

Although located near the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the Kranji Marshes provide a different type of habitat from Sungei Buloh's brackish waters, which have a higher salt content.

"Here, you will get to see many interesting freshwater marshland birds not commonly found in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, such as the purple swamphen," said Mr Wong.

Wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai said the two habitats host a different variety of animals. "Together, they protect more species," he said.

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