Bidadari, a wildlife paradise that is worthy to be gazetted as a nature park or reserve, has been destroyed and is making way for housing development. Bidadari boast a rich biodiversity with more than 145 species of birds recorded, and various species of insects, reptile species such as Black Spitting Cobra and Green-crested Lizard, and mammals like the Asian Palm Civet and Variable Squirrel. It is arguably the place with the highest density of wildlife found in a small green patch.
Over the years, Bidadari had been a place to go for all sorts of nature lovers, whether it is birds, insects, reptiles, mammals or simply finding a peaceful wooded area to rejuvenate oneself. Every migratory season from late September to end February, birds from as far as the Arctic would fly to Bidadari to spend the winter. Every week, bird lovers would be surprised by a species that arrived, or encountering very rare animals such as the civet or cobra. Bidadari is also the only place that the Variable Squirrel is found, though this species of squirrel is an introduced species.
The tranquility of Bidadari was very welcoming, a garden of eden if I had to find a word to describe it. Deprived from the noises of civilization, it is the perfect place to get away from the crowded and stressful life of Singapore. Each time I visit that place, I would feel enchanted by the singing of the birds and insects, and the sight of the beautiful woods. With such paradise for wildlife and nature, Bidadari should rightfully be gazetted as a wildlife sanctuary or nature park. But sadly, the authorities had other ideas for this plot of land.
Despite the best efforts by the public, nature lovers and various nature groups to save Bidadari from any development, all attempts had fallen on the deaf ears of the authorities, whom once they had made the decision to develop something at the expense of nature, they would carry out their plan relentlessly and mercilessly.
Our failure to protect Bidadari should be an important lessson on what can be done in the future. Some lessons that we could learn to do better is to earmark a biodiversity hot spot in Singapore as a nature reserve or wildlife sanctuary before it being earmarked for development. Some places such as the newly opened Kranji Marsh is an example of conserving a biodiversity hot spot before any development plans could be made.
Constant public and media awareness are needed to remind people to appreciate nature areas and save them from destruction. Especially in such a built up country like Singapore with little natural spaces, many Singaporeans could not be bothered about caring for nature and are easily detach from the natural world as they go about their urbanized life.
Just because humans have the ability to destroy nature, does this give us the right to do so? Before we make the decision to destroy a forest, should we stop and think, that these animals and plants have just as much rights to share this planet with us? As the dominant species of the world, we humans are supposed to love and care for all beings that call this place home, not destroy them, especially when the place is rich in biodiversity.
I am still hopeful that humans can do the right thing to protect nature. Below are some of the awesome wildlife and scenery that I have previously taken on my countless trips to Bidadari. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy such a beautiful place. RIP Bida…:(
Ruddy Kingfisher. Rare bird in Singapore
Black-backed Kingfisher. Rare bird in Singapore
Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher. Worldwide conservation status: Vulnerable
Siberian Blue Robin juvenile
White-rumped Shama. Rare bird in Singapore.
Orange-headed Trush. Rare bird in Singapore
Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo. Rare bird in Singapore
Hogdson’s Hawk Cuckoo
Asian Palm Civet. A rarely seen animal of Singapore due to their nocturnal nature.
© [Dennis Ong] [DennisOngPhotography], . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear CREDIT is given to [Dennis Ong] [Dennis Ong Photography] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.