Photo: NParks via Biology Refugia
50 native trees were planted at a Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) site on Oct. 5 to launch the greening of the Eco-Link@BKE expected to complete at the end of the year. No clue what the Eco-Link@BKE is? Here are 10 things you need to know about Singapore’s SGD16 million dollar effort.
1. The ecological bridge — the first of its kind in Southeast Asia — aims to protect Singapore’s biodiversity.
2. It will connect the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment nature reserves, which have been separated for the last 20 years since BKE was constructed.
3. The connection means animals such as flying squirrels, insects, monitor lizards, palm civets, pangolins, porcupines and snakes can now move between the two habitats to search for food and mate.
4. As the animals are now free to cross the bridge, plants such as the Singapore Walking Stick Palm can pollinate and disperse more easily.
5. The bridge will start and end at each of the nature reserves’ highest point spots and will measure 50m at its narrowest point.
6. Feasibility studies and ecological monitoring surveys have been conducted by nature groups, non-governmental organisations, tertiary institutions, volunteers and government agencies together with the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to ensure the success of Eco-Link@BKE.
7. Public access is restricted in the initial years post construction to ensure minimal disturbance, but there are plans for guided walks in the future.