Connecting with Nature


Biodiversity conservation efforts undertaken in close collaboration with the community help ensure that Singapore achieves a sustainable balance between nature and development.

Ecological Connectivity

NParks intensified efforts to enhance Singapore’s biodiversity and strengthen ecological connectivity islandwide. Some 21 km of Nature Ways were completed in areas such as Upper Changi, Punggol Central, South Buona Vista and Kranji.

Nature Ways are multi-tiered plantings with specially selected trees and shrubs to create a forest-like structure and to facilitate the movement of fauna between green spaces. They not only help to sustain healthy natural ecosystems across the island, but also give residents more opportunities to connect with nature.

Find out more on how Singapore is enhancing ecological connectivity

As part of rewilding efforts, NParks also naturalised 10 sites with the planting of native trees to boost ecological connectivity along Pasir Panjang Road and several of our expressways. Native species are a treasured part of our natural and cultural heritage as they provide many indispensable benefits to our living environment.

The community was able to learn more about native species at learning workshops on invasive species management (ISM). If not managed properly, invasive species threaten the survival of native flora and fauna. Volunteers were involved in ISM efforts at the Rail Corridor as well as in Dairy Farm and Windsor Nature Parks. Schools, corporations and grassroots groups participated in hands-on sessions to help remove such invasive species from our regenerating forests, to ensure native species can thrive. Volunteers were also involved in habitat enhancement works at eight parks including Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West and Changi Beach Park.

Enhancing Ecological Connectivity with Clementi Nature Corridor


NParks has conducted an Ecological Profiling Exercise (EPE) with input from a scientific Advisory Panel. This science-based approach maps out the ecological profile of green and blue spaces across the island to better understand their role as biodiversity refugia and for ecological connectivity supporting Singapore's commitment to balancing development with nature conservation in the stewardship of land.

Derived from the results of the EPE, NParks is establishing the Clementi Nature Corridor which includes forested sites at Clementi, Toh Tuck, Maju and the Rail Corridor. NParks will work with the community to continue habitat enhancement and reforestation efforts to enhance connectivity for wildlife between the nearby core nature areas. A sizeable nature park will also be safeguarded in the western side of the greenfield site at Ulu Pandan and will serve as a stepping-stone habitat between Clementi Forest and the Southern Ridges.

Tropcial Rainforests

NParks continues to study the primary spine of ecological connectivity in the Toh Tuck, Maju and Clementi areas, taking reference from baseline biodiversity studies that have been conducted for these areas. There are no immediate development plans for the Toh Tuck and Maju sites, and no immediate plans for residential developments at the Clementi site.

Restoring Coastal Beach Forest at
Labrador Nature Reserve

NParks unveiled habitat restoration plans for Labrador Nature Reserve that will carry on up to 2030. The Reserve is home to the unique coastal hill forest that houses rare species tolerant to salt exposure and poorer soil conditions. To protect the forest, its slopes will be replanted with suitable native species, including the Critically Endangered Broad-leaf Fern (Dipteris conjugate). The edges of the forest are also being extended with the planting of native coastal plants.

These measures are part of the Forest Restoration Action Plan, introduced in 2019. This seeks to strengthen the resilience of our native rainforests by restoring ecological processes and enhancing the biodiversity and ecological connectivity in these areas. This will improve the habitats for native biodiversity. In the reporting year, a total of 1.7 ha of enhancement planting was carried out in several of our Nature Parks and reservoir parks.

These greenery enhancements extend to the West Coast area too. In September 2021, NParks announced plans to work with residents to roll out more nature-based amenities such as community and allotment gardens and corridor gardening opportunities. Residents can also look forward to a better living environment thanks to new Therapeutic Gardens, nature playgardens and inclusive playgrounds, Nature Ways, recreational routes and the greening of the upcoming Jurong Region Line, a major upcoming infrastructure development in the area and nearby industrial estates.


A coastal beach forest area between the coastal hill forest and the sea will be restored, as part of the Forest Restoration Action Plan for Labrador Nature Reserve. This will provide an ecological buffer for the coastal hill forest, as well as increased sources of food and shelter for fauna.

						Quarry in Pulau Ubin

Visitors can soon enjoy a new trail that runs along the Old Jurong Line, a disused railway track that ceased operations in the early 1990s and runs through Clementi Forest. The Old Jurong Line Nature Trail will be part of the 62 km Coast-to-Coast Southern Trail.

Protecting Ubin’s Coastlines

Using nature-based solutions to build up Singapore’s climate resilience, NParks will carry out a series of habitat enhancement efforts at Pulau Ubin. This includes protecting about 2.2 km of the northern coastline of the island as well as mangrove restoration at Sungei Durian, along the southern coast.

In addition, a coastal arboretum showcasing 500 trees from over 70 native coastal species was opened in September 2021. It acts as a nursery for plant species that will eventually be re-introduced to Pulau Ubin’s coasts. Reforestation efforts on the island have also expanded, from three to the current 12 sites, with some 3,500 trees to be planted to enhance the island’s unique biodiversity and ecosystems.

These initiatives were shared with the public during Pesta Ubin, a three-week festival featuring virtual tours, talks and programmes about Pulau Ubin’s rich cultural and natural history. The festival culminated with the celebration of Ubin Day on 11 September 2021. The public can also receive updates about the happenings of the island via Ubin Tides, an e-newsletter put together with help from the Friends of Ubin Network community.


The one-hectare coastal arboretum on Pulau Ubin will act as a nursery for plant species that can help rejuvenate the island's coasts. NParks leverages nature-based solutions such as mangroves and reforestation to enhance Singapore's climate resilience.

Biodiversity Conservation Efforts Bear Fruit


Habitat enhancement and species recovery efforts under the NParks Nature Conservation Masterplan are bearing fruit. Several species such as the Lesser Mousedeer (Tragulus kanchil) and Sunda Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang) have been assessed to have an improved conservation status in the latest update of the Singapore Red List in September 2021. This suggests that the resilience of these animals has improved with the support of our biodiversity conservation efforts.

A study on the ungulate population in 2020 showed that the Lesser Mousedeer population has recovered since the 1990s. Large ungulate species like the Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) and Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor) can co-exist with the Lesser Mousedeer, likely due to these species being active and feeding at different times of the day.

Tropcial Rainforests

The population of the Lesser Mousedeer has increased four-fold since the 1990s to over 200 living in Singapore today. Keeping the nature reserves closed to the public at night enables animals to forage and move around freely without human disturbance.

Partnering the Community in
Biodiversity Studies

NParks has added 13 plant and 13 animal species to its Species Recovery Programme, bringing the total number to 80 plant and 40 animal species. The programme has been expanded to include species monitoring efforts by stakeholders, including members of the scientific and nature communities.

At Pulau Satumu, staff, academic partners and volunteers gathered in May 2021 to document an annual mass coral spawning event in Singapore’s waters. This was part of efforts to build up long-term data on the corals’ reproductive capacity and better understand their spawning patterns so that sea-based activities can be managed to minimise impact to the corals.

Under the Plant-A-Coral, Seed-A-Reef Programme, NParks will be assessing the efficacy of CoralAID Mineral Accretion (CAMA) units in enhancing coral growth in Singapore’s waters. For the first time in Singapore, the new initiative will trial the use of mineral accretion technology to stimulate the growth of hard corals by subjecting them to low-voltage electricity. The trial is supported by seed funding through the Garden City Fund.

Common Amberwing

The mass synchronous spawning of corals, where millions of coral sperm and eggs are released into the sea, occurs only once a year. The fact that corals are able to reproduce and safeguard their next generation bodes well for the long-term sustainability of Singapore's marine biodiversity.

Conservation Successes

Singapore’s significance as a stopover and wintering ground for migratory shorebirds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway was celebrated once again on 9 October, or World Migratory Bird Day. The community was invited to participate in a Wader Watch online workshop to learn more about shorebirds and their arduous journeys to our island. More than 230 species of birds have been recorded at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve alone.

Birders also enjoyed a wealth of sightings of visitors to our City in Nature with as many as 12 new sightings in Singapore in 2021, more than double the usual number. These rare and first-time sightings include the Fairy Pitta (Pitta nympha) at Hindhede Nature Park, the Oriental Scops Owl (Otus sunia) at Thomson Nature Park and the Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) at Kent Ridge Park.

The 10th Festival of Biodiversity was held in September 2021 to celebrate the community’s efforts in conservation and to commemorate the International Day for Biological Diversity. The number of partners involved in the Festival has grown, from under 30 in 2011, to 67 in 2021, exemplifying the broad-base support conservation enjoys in Singapore.

The contributions of nature groups, schools, youths, work groups comprising academics and other stakeholders, as well as members from the Friends of the Parks community continue to drive programmes to enable even more Singaporeans to become active stewards of our biodiversity and environment.

Participants of the Youth Stewards for Nature programme conducting a site survey

Interest in bird watching in Singapore reached new heights in the last year, with sightings of the (01) Oriental Scops Owl, a rare migrant to Singapore that was unusually spotted — no less than four times; the extremely rare (02) Fairy Pitta that was sighted at Hindhede Nature Park and the first record of the (03) Spotted Flycatcher in Singapore.

Learn about shorebird migration

Participants of the Youth Stewards for Nature programme conducting a site survey

President Halimah Yacob (right) and Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration Desmond Lee (centre) visit activity booths at the Festival of Biodiversity to engage with passionate volunteers and learn more about Singapore's native biodiversity.

Strengthening Community
Stewardship of Nature

Over the years, the number of citizen scientists has grown to over 9,000, forming a significant part of NParks’ current volunteer base of over 56,000. Some 1,800 citizen scientists were involved in Community in Nature Biodiversity Watches, which were held across 99 sites in Singapore between January and October 2021.

Another 150 citizen scientists were involved in the annual Nationwide BioBlitz, conducting surveys on birds, butterflies, bees, and dragonflies across 20 sites. Volunteers for the twice-yearly Heron Watch helped spot species of conservation importance such as the Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana) and Blackcrowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax). Data collected from these surveys contribute to long-term population monitoring and provide guidance for conservation and management programmes.

Young Singaporeans continued to express their passion for conservation and greenery issues. About 600 schools and 48,000 students participated in Biodiversity Week for Schools, held in July 2021, by planting trees and conducting biodiversity surveys, among other activities.

Under the Youth Stewards for Nature programme, a select group of 80 youth leaders took part in biodiversity, conservation and horticulture projects under the mentorship of NParks staff. A capacity-building programme, the Biodiversity Friends Forum Challenge, was held for youths to gain exposure to biodiversity conservation in Singapore through field trips and activities, and to learn how they can contribute towards such efforts.

Volunteers from the Friends of East
						Coast Park community

Youth participants of the Green Friends Forum programme get hands-on practice using a resistograph that drills into a tree and measures the resistance of the wood. By comparing the measured resistance profile to a reference profile for the species of tree, they can determine whether the tree is structurally sound.

Volunteers removing invasive weeds

A preschooler builds a 'park' in a City in Nature diorama, part of NParks' educational resources specially created for the young. Through play, children can learn about the importance of behaving responsibly towards animals in our green spaces.

In another youth initiative, two Green Friends Forum (GFF) programmes were established to engage young people on horticulture and urban greenery issues in Singapore. The GFF Experience kicked off in April 2021 and involved participants in the science behind greening Singapore through hands-on horticulture, arboriculture and landscape design activities. The GFF Sandbox, held in September, provided youths with a valued platform to meet and discuss topics on greenery and gardening with like-minded individuals.

As part of an ongoing collaboration, NParks is conducting training for Outward Bound Singapore instructors under the Youth@SGNature initiative. This is to support activities that can help start conversations on issues related to the environment.

As part of attachment programmes, youths from tertiary to university institutions have been working in NParks to gain real-world experience. Guided by staff, these students get invaluable firsthand exposure to the fields of botany and horticulture, wildlife management, community engagement and nature conservation. After their stint with NParks, many continue to be nature ambassadors and advocates, inspiring their peers to become stewards of nature too.

In the reporting year, NParks produced and shared new educational resources to more than 1,900 preschool centres focusing on the topic of appropriate behaviour towards animals around us. Using these resources, teachers are educating children about civic responsibility and sharing the environment with community and companion animals and wildlife.

Enhancing Animal Care
and Welfare

NParks rolled out new regulations and guidelines aimed at improving animal health and welfare standards. From 1 April 2022, pet breeders and boarders are required to comply with an improved set of licensing conditions that prohibit them from breeding pets with known harmful heritable conditions or from carrying out in-breeding practices. Licensing conditions for commercial pet boarding facilities have also been tightened.

New guidelines have also been established to standardise dog rehoming and adoption practices, as well as for dog training and behaviour rehabilitation. These were developed by the multi-stakeholder Rehoming and Adoption Workgroup that included veterinarians, dog trainers and Animal Welfare Groups (AWGs), and in consultation with the public.

The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) continues to collaborate with AWGs, veterinarians and other relevant stakeholders on the Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) programme, which is a humane, science-based approach to managing Singapore’s stray dog population. Close to 3,000 strays have been enrolled under this programme since 2018.

Launched as a pilot project in 2019, Project Rehab supports the TNRM programme by training and rehabilitating stray dogs to be more comfortable around humans and in a home environment. To date, a further 70 dogs have been rehabilitated. Under Project ADORE (ADOption and REhoming of dogs), AVS and AWGs successfully rehomed about 2,000 local mixed-breed dogs in HDB flats since the programme was launched in 2012.

Opened in March 2022, the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation is Singapore’s first dedicated facility for animal behavioural rehabilitation. Equipped with specially designed features for effective science-based canine rehabilitation, trained professionals there assess and address dog behaviour problems in a calm and spacious environment. AVS is also partnering with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to refine the post-rehabilitation process for stray dogs and improve their successful integration into homes and the community.

Wild Boar

The home set-up in the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation, complete with sofa set, television and roving vacuum cleaner, was designed to assimilate pets to a typical home environment.

Long-tailed Macaque

Senior Minister of State for National Development & Communications and Information Tan Kiat How interacts with a resident of the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation, where companion animals that have previously been abandoned or rescued, are rehabilitated and rehomed.

The Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE) rolled out new workshops on animal welfare, animal health and conservation to enhance the skillsets of NParks staff and the industry. These included a Fauna Identification – Parrots & Bird Trade Workshop and a Coral Identification Workshop. Meanwhile, AVS also arranged for international experts such as Ms Trish McMillan and Mr Michael Shikashio, who are well renowned in the field of animal behaviour, to speak during specially curated webinars on understanding the science behind animal behaviour.

As NParks continues to enhance our green spaces, pets are not forgotten. Several dog runs were opened this past year, including at Bukit Gombak Park, Punggol Waterway Park and Mayfair Park. Such facilities provide safe spaces for dogs to run freely and play with other dogs. They are also areas where visitors can exercise responsible pet ownership over their animal's behaviour and health.

Explore the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation.

Advancing Wildlife Management

By conducting regular wildlife surveys and employing ecological modelling tools, NParks studies the movement and distribution of wild animals in Singapore to advance our wildlife management strategy. To support these efforts, a Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation was established in early 2022 to provide veterinary care and rehabilitation for injured or distressed wild animals, building up NParks’ expertise in the rescue, treatment and release of wildlife. The Centre also enhances NParks’ existing biosurveillance capabilities.

Wild animals brought to the Centre are routinely screened for zoonotic diseases and the results are then used to guide risk assessments and management measures, such as vaccination programmes, to protect ecological and public health. NParks’ stepped-up capabilities will enhance the work done in collaboration with local wildlife rescue partners such as ACRES and Mandai Wildlife Group.

NParks launched a new series of monthly webinars for the public to promote responsible behaviour towards wildlife commonly encountered in urban and natural settings. These include the Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) and Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata). The webinars were done in collaboration with our wildlife working groups. Participants were able to learn about NParks’ science-based approach to manage these encounters and picked up tips on how to co-exist with wildlife in our urban ecosystem through simple actions such as keeping a safe distance from them and not feeding them.

Project ADORE

Park Connector users keep a safe distance and wait for the Smooth-coated Otter to cross the path. Simple actions such as this enable us to co-exist responsibly with our wildlife neighbours.

Project ADORE

A staff member operates an x-ray machine to diagnose injuries such as fractures and medical conditions such as pneumonia in animals brought to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation. Such capabilities enhance the treatment and rehabilitation of the rescued animals.

Watch an advisory video on living with nature

Tackling Illegal
Wildlife Trade

From 1 September 2021, a nationwide ban on the sale and public display of elephant ivory and ivory products took effect. As a member and signatory of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), these new regulations and the setting up of the Centre for Wildlife Forensics reinforce Singapore’s resolve in the fight against illegal wildlife trade. Further amendments are being proposed to Singapore’s Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act to ensure the legislation remains effective in tackling illegal wildlife trade and protecting endangered species.

To complement efforts, a new K9 unit of detector dogs was established. Tapping on these dogs’ keen sense of smell, the animals have been deployed at various checkpoints into Singapore to enhance efforts in detecting trafficked wildlife and wildlife products such as pangolin scales and elephant ivory.

NParks partners other public agencies nationally and internationally to target and destabilise illegal wildlife trade networks. This past year, working with authorities from China, NParks together with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority and Singapore Customs, successfully intercepted an elephant ivory ornament that transited in China and arrived in Singapore, identifying the seller and buyer through the process.

By studying the DNA in seized wildlife parts and products, our scientists worked with renowned biologist Professor Samuel K Wasser from the University of Washington, to better understand their geographical origins. This enables us to identify potential linkages and syndicates involved in the illegal trade in wildlife and support enforcement and prosecution efforts.

Project ADORE

A researcher at the Centre for Wildlife Forensics sorts out seized pangolin scales according to size and shape to be processed for further DNA tests that can reveal illegal wildlife trade networks. As a major trading hub, Singapore plays a key role in intercepting illegal shipments of wildlife products.

Hamster Society Singapore

One of the dogs in the NParks K9 unit demonstrates its ability to sniff out and detect concealed illegal wildlife products such as elephant ivory and pangolin scales.