Crocs in nature reserve: Beef up safety measures, focus on conservation

Crocs in nature reserve: Beef up safety measures, focus on conservation

SINGAPORE- It is rare to come across a 3m-long saltwater crocodile on a path at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve ("Croc spotted on Sungei Buloh reserve's path"; Dec 2).

With Singapore looking to expand its green spaces, the public needs to be educated about the importance of wildlife conservation and safety measures in nature reserves.

The footpaths in the Sungei Buloh reserve should have warning signs to inform visitors about areas where crocodile sightings are more frequent. It is good that the National Parks Board is stepping up patrols to ensure the safety of visitors.

Other safety measures could include emergency phone booths or hotlines to alert park rangers of any crocodile sightings or incidents.

Schools should hold briefings to educate children on the potential dangers and safety protocols when visiting the nature reserve. Visitors should also look out for one another and be proactive in ensuring their own safety.

Education is needed to teach visitors to appreciate the flora and fauna of the reserve. Through school excursions, children can learn many things about nature that are not found in textbooks.

Conservation is an important area that the reserve can look at in keeping track of the many types of wildlife found there. A partnership with the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society and National Geographic to study the crocodiles could help in our understanding of their population growth and prevent them from becoming extinct.

It is important that such studies be done humanely. These could be documented in projects that schools can let their students take part in, to help them appreciate and respect wildlife.

Darren Chan Keng Leong

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