Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Prior to the settlement of Singapore the land around the inlet of Sungei Buloh, in the northwest of the main island of Singapore, was dominated by tidal mudflats and mangrove systems.

Prior to the settlement of Singapore the land around the inlet of Sungei Buloh, in the northwest of the main island of Singapore, was dominated by tidal mudflats and mangrove systems.

It is possible that bamboo once existed in the area, hence the name (Sungei = River, Buloh = Bamboo), however the bamboo is long gone. In the 19th Century, with an increasing rural population, prawn farming became the mainstay of those settling the coast. Now the prawn farms are gone and the mangroves are regenerating under the protection afforded by the Nature Reserve. Opened in 1993, this 87 hectare wetland refuge is of supreme importance during the migration of waders and shorebirds between the summer breeding grounds of North Asia (Siberia, China etc.) and the wintering grounds of the Southern Hemisphere (Australia etc.). This migration route is the East-Asian Flyway.

The migratory birds are attracted by exposed mud flats in the long-abandoned prawn ponds. Water levels in the prawn ponds are still controlled by sluice gates; the aim is to maintain some exposed mud flats at all times, even during high tide, thereby attracting waders and shorebirds. In addition to tidal systems there are a small number of freshwater ponds and patches of secondary forest which add to the reserve’s biodiversity.

Run by the National Parks Board (NParks), Sungei Buloh boasts an excellent visitor centre complete with educational displays, theatrical, knowledgeable staff, a cafeteria and public toilets. Viewing hides are dotted at strategic locations, and the trails are well maintained and clearly marked. Boardwalks, currently under renovation, allow visitors to explore deep into the mangroves.

http://www.sbwr.org.sg/

written by thekillergerbil on 2008-05-09 #places #art #culture #shop #location

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