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Singapore Freshwater Crab


Singapore Freshwater Crab

The Singapore Freshwater Crab (Johora singaporensis) is one of the three known species of crabs endemic to Singapore. This means that it is unique to Singapore and not found anywhere else in the world. It is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is among the top 100 most threatened species worldwide. The crab has very stringent habitat requirements and is known to exist in five freshwater streams in Singapore (Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak), but surveys conducted by NParks and NUS showed that the population has declined at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, possibly due to stream acidification, while it thrives at the other two sites.


To conserve this critically endangered species, a two-year research programme was started by NParks and the National University of Singapore (NUS) in January 2013. This collaboration seeks to establish a feasible method for monitoring the species, evaluate the current condition of the sites where the crabs were found, and recommend remedial actions to ensure that the crab can continue to thrive in its natural environment. The study also serves to identify potential locations for population enhancement.


On 27–29 March 2014, researchers and officers from NParks, NUS, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), members of other governmental agencies and NGOs convened in the inaugural Freshwater Crab Conservation Roundtable meeting to discuss and develop an overall species conservation strategy for this endemic species. “Conservation Strategy for the Singapore freshwater crab Johora singaporensis” lists various problems faced by this species and directs ongoing and future conservation management efforts. Following the Roundtable meeting, a working group led by NParks was formed to implement the Singapore Freshwater Crab Conservation strategy.


Currently NParks is working closely with NUS and WRS on a long term population enhancement and monitoring programme, as well as on the establishment of a breeding programme for Johora singaporensis

Conservation Strategy for the Singapore freshwater crab, a publication by the Freshwater Crab Conservation Roundtable, is available for download here.

Last updated on 17 June 2015

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