The Cross Island MRT Line, if allowed to proceed, will be the first time in Singapore’s history that such a development breaches the boundaries of a Nature Reserve. Although an underground operation, there will be negative impact above ground too. For example, the site investigation works, which are slated to begin in December this year, will generate noise that can affect the sensitive wildlife. It will also involve people going off-trail — trampling and damaging vegetation. Lapses in mitigation measures may cause forest streams to become polluted. The potential pitfalls and resulting disruption to nature can be innumerable.
MacRitchie is an important place for wildlife to thrive. It is an important place for us to unwind and for children to discover wonderful things. It is important that this sanctuary be kept intact so that generations to come can enjoy it as we did.
Despite identifying myself as a nature and outdoor lover, I must admit that my first proper visit to MacRitchie was only five years ago. Although I discovered it late, I fell in love with it immediately. What struck me was the abundance of native species that can be found at MacRitchie. Together with the Central Catchment and Bukit Timah Nature Reserves, MacRitchie is part of our national forests and it is home to many indigenous species like the Singapore Rat.
I have also been conducting regular guided walks at MacRitchie. Each time I visit, I see a creature I have never seen before! I have witnessed how excited the participants (especially the children!) can get when they spot interesting creatures. It is wonderful to see their faces light up and their interest grow. Who would have thought that in the middle of this bustling city, there is a beautiful rainforest full of weird and wild creatures?
Our forest reserves, including MacRitchie, are the last strongholds for many native species. Singapore has suffered catastrophic losses in biodiversity, largely due to the loss of forest habitats. What we have left now is precious and vulnerable, and cannot afford further impact.
Chloe Tan is a wildlife biologist and nature guide.
If you have memories of MacRitchie you’d like to share, do email [email protected]
The Future Of MacRitchie concert will take place on November 19.
Visit www.futureofmacritchie.storm.sg for more information about the venue, artists performing, and to register. There are also guided walks that can help you get intimate with MacRitchie.