This Safe Crossing Enables the Survival of Endangered Species
The 62m-long wildlife link is the first purpose-built bridge for wildlife in South-east Asia. It can be seen by motorists on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) about 600m north of Rifle Range Road.
The bridge, which was built just for animals, connects the 163ha Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, which is Singapore’s largest at more than 2,000ha.
The two nature reserves were once connected, until the BKE was built in 1986.
Close to 30 years later, the connection between the two has been revived.
To find out if animals are using the eco-link, camera traps were set up in both nature reserves and the link to monitor the animals there. The cameras, which come with motion sensors, are triggered when animals move past them.
Animals like the pangolin, palm civet and squirrels have been caught on the cameras placed on the link.
For about a year now, eight camera traps on the wildlife crossing have recorded footage of pangolins and other animals traversing the eco-link.
Although the exact number of crossings is not known, at least one pangolin crossing has been spotted a month since October 2014.
Other studies, using tagging and sound recordings, found that birds and bats have also been using it.
Some winged animals need the link to cross, wildlife experts say, as the six-lane BKE is too wide to ford even for those which can fly.
Now, humans can also take a walk on the wildlife link which was previously closed to the public to minimise disturbance to the animals. In the two years since it was completed, the vegetation has grown dense enough to mask occasional human incursions.
On Nov 21, 2015, the first members of the public were allowed a glimpse of the link on guided tours conducted by NParks.