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Friday, February 03, 2006

Birds of a Feather flock to... Singapore?

Singapore never ceases to amaze me in one particular aspect. Wandering down a typical city street you'd be forgiven for thinking that animal life had been thoroughly wiped from the face of the earth.

Of course that's not true... I've spent the last couple of years documenting just a fraction of the secret wilderness that still exist in this island nation. But these things don't just sit under a nearby tree and wait for you to spot them. All these species are survivors in their own right, and they endure because they have learned to live alongside our ceasless urban sprawl - no mean feat...

But while these areas of wilderness and their elusive residents remain safely hidden in very secret corners of Singapore, there are other opportunists that have actually invaded the heart of our urban jungle, and they're not just surviving - they're literally flying high!

Yesterday was a perfect example. From the morning chorus of a neighbourhood Black-naped Oriole, to the overhead acrobatics of a patrolling Brahminy Kite, the city of Singapore is alive with birds.

Having observed and filmed some of these species in other countries across the region, in characteristically wild settings, it continues to amaze me to see White-bellied Sea Eagles, normally coastal specialists, soaring over inner city canal-ways, and setting up shop in city parks. Even orioles are normally associated with forest and grassland, and yet here they are singing along to the sound of traffic on roadside trees.

It seems to me that the old stereotype of Singapore as a lifeless concrete jungle is very much a thing of the past. It may have lost a lot of its former forest cover and indeed being such a small nation, has to contend with a delicate balancing act of development vs. conservation - but the fact that inspite of this, there are signs of wild life all over the place - well thats a very encouraging sign.

There are some fantastically proactive individuals over here who are doing their darnest to make sure that the natural environment of Singapore stays intact for the foreseeable future.

This website list represents just a few of the many conservationists who've worked wonders to keep the island's wilderness alive. Surf and become enlightened:





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