Singapore’s Ecological Bridge: A Model for Urban Biodiversity Conservation

   Singapore has a land area of ​​718 square kilometers, but it maintains more than 10 ecosystems, with 23,000 to 28,000 species of terrestrial organisms and 12,000 to 17,000 species of marine organisms. Its biodiversity is as rich as a nature reserve. The Urban Biodiversity Index proposed by him has also been widely recognized and used around the world.
   Since 1963, Singapore has implemented greening plans and has experienced the evolution from a “garden city” to an “eco-friendly city in a garden”. In this regard, the relevant person in charge of the execution department interpreted it this way, “It’s a bit like ‘my home has a garden’ and ‘my home lives in a garden.’ The latter is more directed towards the popularization of greening around human living environments and the biodiversity of wild animals.”
   At the beginning of the implementation of the “Garden City”, Singapore planted flowers, plants and trees more from the perspective of aesthetics and functionality. In 1986, the Bukit Timah Expressway was built between the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. This artificial “cut” directly led to the fragmentation of the ecological environment and seriously affected some species with a wide distribution range. breeding, increasing the risk of inbreeding. Later, policymakers gradually became aware of the issues of biodiversity conservation. In 2009, in order to connect these two nature reserves, the Singaporean government built a 62-meter-long “Ecological Bridge” above the expressway. The bridge is designed in an hourglass shape, with the narrowest point in the middle being 50 meters wide and the left and right sides being 60 meters wide. The National Park Service planted trees and shrubs that originally belonged to the forests on both sides of the bridge, including spiny palms and firewood trees, to facilitate the more than 1,000 species of animals that inhabit the two nature reserves, such as monitor lizards, squirrels, pangolins, insects and snakes. Classes can come and go freely. This not only expands the foraging range of various animals, but also plays an important role in spreading pollen and plant seeds, helping to restore the ecological balance of the nature reserve and promote biodiversity.
   The construction of the “Ecological Bridge” is just a microcosm. Today, biodiversity protection is an essential part of Singapore’s overall planning. At present, 7 natural connecting roads have been built and have achieved remarkable results. A recent survey of species on the forest edge revealed the previously hard-to-see Hao’s emerald butterfly and common gliding lizard.

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