DISCOVER NATURE ABOARD NEW RIVER SAFARI CRUISE FROM 1 AUGUST

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River Safari’s latest boat attraction takes visitors on an eco-adventure along Upper Seletar Reservoir

The new River Safari Cruise meanders along the outskirts of Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, giving visitors a chance to spot wildlife such as giraffes and rhinos.

The new River Safari Cruise meanders along the outskirts of Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, giving visitors a chance to spot wildlife such as giraffes and rhinos.

Singapore, 30 July 2014 – From 1 August, visitors to River Safari can go on a relaxing nature cruise along the Upper Seletar Reservoir and enjoy views of clear blue skies, lush green forests and chance upon wildlife with the launch of the park’s latest attraction – the River Safari Cruise.

The 15-minute cruise plies the scenic Upper Seletar Reservoir – one of Singapore’s largest water catchment areas – and provides visitors with a rare opportunity to commune with nature in the breathtaking setting of the tropical rainforest and shimmery waterways. Built in 1920, this reservoir holds up to 5,000 million gallons of water and is one of the four reservoirs bounding Singapore’s nature reserves. This man-made lake not only provides drinking water, it is home to many native species such as the long-tailed macaque and water monitor lizard that thrive around and in the reservoir. During the journey, visitors will learn about the beautiful forest giants that surround the reservoir and the delicate freshwater habitats.

Passengers on board the new River Safari Cruise immerse in the breathtaking setting of the tropical rainforest and shimmery waterways of the Upper Seletar Reservoir.

Passengers on board the new River Safari Cruise immerse in the breathtaking setting of the tropical rainforest and shimmery waterways of the Upper Seletar Reservoir.

The River Safari Cruise replaces the boat ride that was previously in operation at Singapore Zoo. The cruise embarks on a new route that meanders along the outskirts of Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, giving visitors a chance to spot wildlife nestled on the edges of these parks such as giraffes and rhinos. Lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of elephants going on daily walks along the water’s edge. Bird watchers can keep their eyes peeled for an array of feathered creatures, from storks to herons, which may make a stopover by the banks or roost on the trees.

The latest boat attraction symbolises Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s commitment in creating immersive wildlife experiences by refreshing and rejuvenating exhibits and attractions across its four parks: Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the newly-opened River Safari. The cruise complements the River Safari experience and the park’s focus on increasing awareness on freshwater habitats.

The River Safari Cruise runs daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm and is available at a top-up fee of S$5 (adults) and S$3 (children between 3 to 12 years) in addition to River Safari admission. Tickets for the cruise can be purchased online or at the park’s Boat Plaza – the gateway to the two boat attractions in the park.

Each cruise can accommodate up to 50 passengers and is wheelchair-accessible. Limited seats are available and boarding is on a first come first served basis.

20 YEARS OF FUN IN THE DARK WITH NIGHT SAFARI

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- Home-grown attraction is world’s first zoo for nocturnal animals.
- Recipient of multiple accolades, including 11 awards in Best Visitor Attraction category.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore officiates Night Safari’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Night Safari is the world’s first zoo for nocturnal animals and was officially opened in 1994 by then Prime Minister Goh.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore officiates Night Safari’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Night Safari is the world’s first zoo for nocturnal animals and was officially opened in 1994 by then Prime Minister Goh.

Singapore, 23 May 2014 – The world’s first zoo for nocturnal animals, Singapore’s Night Safari, marked its 20th Anniversary with an evening celebration graced by the Guest of Honour who also officiated the park opening in 1994, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

“Night Safari is a home-grown attraction that has gained a reputation on the world’s stage for the unique, immersive wildlife experience we provide our visitors. It is a park where Singaporeans love to take their foreign visitors to at night, and has been so for the last 20 years,” said Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Night Safari was conceptualised by the same visionaries who created the critically acclaimed Singapore Zoo. Since opening on 26 May 1994, the park provides local residents and tourists an insight into the mystery of the tropical jungle at night by displaying a wide range of nocturnal animals in natural settings, and also filled a critical void in night-time attractions in Singapore.

The late Dr Ong Swee Law, founder and Executive Chairman of Singapore Zoo, in his project proposal for Night Safari wrote, “Nothing like the Night Safari can be found anywhere else in the world: it is truly unique.” He also highlighted that it makes good sense to view zoo animals at night since 90% of tropical mammals (excluding primates) are nocturnal, coupled with the fact that with regular sunsets occurring around 7.30pm and cool nights, Singapore is an ideal geographical location for a night zoo.

Today, Night Safari stands at the forefront of wildlife conservation, adopting innovative approaches to conservation science, partnership and research. The park opened the world’s first Sunda pangolin exhibit, and successfully bred the endangered species native to Singapore.

Ms Chiang said, “Beyond being a must-see recreational destination, we strive for excellence in wildlife conservation and have over the 20 years been successful in captive breeding of endangered species like the native Sunda pangolin, Malayan tapir, and Asian elephant.”

Night Safari, the world’s first zoo for nocturnal animals, celebrated its 20th anniversary with guest-of-honour Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who officiated the park’s opening in 1994. Left: Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Night Safari, the world’s first zoo for nocturnal animals, celebrated its 20th anniversary with guest-of-honour Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who officiated the park’s opening in 1994. Left: Ms Claire Chiang, Chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Over the past 20 years, Night Safari has constantly been renewing and rejuvenating its animal collection and product offerings to improve visitor experience. Notably, in 2003 the park launched the Creatures of the Night Show in a new amphitheater, and the Thumbuakar fire performance just two years later.

To commemorate Night Safari’s 20th Anniversary, the park will officially introduce a pair of white lions in addition to officially launching two new exhibits featuring Asiatic black bears and Malayan tigers that would be the finale to the park’s 35-minute tram experience.

Visitors to the park in the month of June will enjoy the 20th Anniversary festivities, which include energising fire performances by the wildly popular Thumbuakar group, talented shadow cutters, and glittery face-painters that help bring out the mystery of the night.

Night Safari, the world’s first zoo for nocturnal animals, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who officiated the park’s opening in 1994, graced the event and took a ride on the tram.

Night Safari, the world’s first zoo for nocturnal animals, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who officiated the park’s opening in 1994, graced the event and took a ride on the tram.

BE A JUNIOR BIRDWATCHER AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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- Kids hone their skills in birding this June with multitude of holiday activities. Jurong Bird Park offers free admission for kids accompanied by a paying adult.

Singapore, 19 May 2014
– Enthrall young minds with the fascinating world of birds this June with Jurong Bird Park’s Be A Junior Birdwatcher programme.

Created with the aim of making learning journeys both fun and educational, Be A Junior Birdwatcher will take children through the Junior Birdwatcher Academy where they will hone their skills in birdwatching, go on a birding expedition, and experience feeding and up close encounters with birds!

What’s more, this holidays, the ‘Kids Come In Free’ promotion, entitles all kids to free admission* when accompanied by a paying adult. This offer will be available throughout the school holidays, and complements the host of egg-citing activities lined up for young ones.

Birds Gone Wild!

Birds Gone Wild!

Activity details

1. Be a Junior Birdwatcher
Kids will love being a Junior Birdwatcher for the day. Armed with multiple tools such as a logbook and binoculars, young ones are sure to enjoy their journey as they document their observations.

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 8.30am – 6.00pm

2. Junior Birdwatcher Academy
Young and aspiring visitors have a chance to be certified as a Junior Birdwatcher at Jurong Bird Park! All they have to do is to complete the tasks in the birdwatcher logbook, receive a stamp and they will be presented with a Junior Birdwatcher Certificate at the end of their mission.

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 12.00pm – 4.00pm

3. The Curious Adventures of Rico
Everyone knows that the Kaka bird is extinct except Rico, a passionate birdwatcher, who believes that it still exists. No one has seen the Kaka bird since 1851. Based on his research, it was last ‘seen’ in a remote waterfall in Waterfall Aviary. His journey starts at the Penguin Coast where he looks for other bird watcher enthusiasts to join him on his search. Featuring a puppet show and tell, kids will assist Rico in identifying various bird species.

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 1.30pm
Venue: Waterfall Aviary Terrace
4. Let’s Go Birdwatching
Our veteran birdwatcher will bring junior birdwatchers on a hiking trail to Waterfall Aviary to start their journey and explain the types of birds found there and their favourite resting spots. This interactive session will allow kids to have fun while learning as they match the birds they have seen against their bird ID card. Junior birdwatchers who have matched their findings accordingly will win a prize!

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 1.00pm, 2.00pm
Venue: Waterfall Aviary

5. Birds Go Wild!
One of the senior birdwatchers has found a special spot thriving with amazing birds. He will meet the young birdwatchers there and they will then get a first-hand experience in feeding and getting up close and personal with the birds.

Dates: 7-29 June, weekends only
Time: 10.30am, 2.30pm
Venue: Waterfall Aviary

* ‘Kids Come In Free’ terms and conditions:

  • Offer includes one (1) complimentary single day child admission ticket with one (1) full-priced single day adult admission ticket to Jurong Bird Park.
  • Valid from 31 May 2014 to 29 June 2014.
  • Valid for all Singaporeans, PR & employment pass/study permit holders.
  • Flash coupon, found on www.birdpark.com.sg and proof of identity to enjoy offer. Excludes tram rides.
  • Child defined as 3 to 12 years old.
  • Not valid with other discounts, promotions or rebates.
  • Not valid for tour groups, travel agents, school groups, online and SISTIC bookings.
  • Promotion is only valid for tickets bought over the Jurong Bird Park ticketing counters.
  • Offer applies to admission on day of ticket purchase.
  • Admission ticket purchased is not refundable or exchangeable for cash or kind.
  • No claims will be entertained for any lost, torn, defaced or expired ticket.
  • Jurong Bird Park reserves the right to amend the terms & conditions without any prior notice.

RIVER SAFARI LAUNCHES INAUGURAL BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS FOR VISITORS

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- Two exclusive programmes launched in June to take visitors on learning journeys.

Singapore, 14 May 2014 – For the first time, visitors can have a glimpse of the inner workings of River Safari with the launch of two new behind-the-scenes programmes. Titled Fishy Business and Be a Panda Researcher, these programmes are packed with hands-on experiences that present a unique perspective on Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park and its animal residents.

Participants exploring behind-the-scenes for a first-hand look at the life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Participants exploring behind-the-scenes for a first-hand look at the life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Panda fans can learn more about the park’s famous residents, giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia, as well as their wild cousins in Be a Panda Researcher. Through a series of investigative tasks at various activity stations, participants will get down and dirty to ‘dissect’ panda poo and appreciate the hard work that goes into meeting Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s special dietary needs. By examining paw prints and other markings, they will also gain insights into how researchers track pandas in the wild and implement conservation measures to save these endangered bears from extinction.

Participants preparing food for the park’s aquatic residents as part of the Fishy Business programme, one of the two inaugural behind-the-scenes tours launched at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Participants preparing food for the park’s aquatic residents as part of the Fishy Business programme, one of the two inaugural behind-the-scenes tours launched at River Safari. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE.

Those game for some Fishy Business can venture deep into the underbelly of the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit and discover what the aquarists do to keep the animal residents in the pink of health. Participants will explore the massive life support system of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium, conduct water tests and prepare food and enrichment for river giants such as the manatees and arapaimas. The finale to the programme is a visual spectacle of the silver arowana, also known as the water monkey, leaping out of the water to strike at its prey during special feeding sessions.

Ms May Lok, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Many a times visitors are curious about our work, and our team is also eager to share the passion and joy in the day-to-day care for our 6000 animals. Be a Panda Researcher and Fishy Business are the first behind-the-scenes tours in River Safari we have curated for the public. We hope visitors who participate in these programmes will walk away with a deeper understanding on the park and its animal residents, and a greater appreciation of freshwater ecosystems.”

Be a Panda Researcher and Fishy Business programmes are each available at S$39 for adults and S$29 for children, inclusive of River Safari admission*. Be a Panda Researcher can accommodate a maximum of 60 people while Fishy Business can accommodate a maximum of 30. Both tours are recommended for children 9 years and above. Reservations can be made online at http://education.riversafari.com.sg/whatshap.html. The two programmes are launched in commemoration of 50 years of tourism development and promotions in Singapore.

*Admission does not include Amazon River Quest boat ride.

SAFARI GATE PROVIDES EASY ACCESS TO MANDAI WILDLIFE PARKS

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- Convenient, comfortable service ensures seamless transition to Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo

Newly launched Safari Gate provides easy access to Mandai wildlife parks (Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo) from the city, and enhances the visitor experience by providing hourly departures and on-board entertainment that gives visitors an insight into each park. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Newly launched Safari Gate provides easy access to Mandai wildlife parks (Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo) from the city, and enhances the visitor experience by providing hourly departures and on-board entertainment that gives visitors an insight into each park. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 29 April 2014 – The world-renowned wildlife parks in the Mandai cluster – Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo – are now more accessible with Safari Gate, a unique tourism offering conceptualised by DUCK & HiPPO and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).

Visitors who enter the Safari Gate (at Suntec City or Singapore Flyer) will find themselves in the immersive world of wildlife that the Mandai attractions are famous for, with credit to the beautiful rainforest-themed interiors created by WRS landscape architects. From the holding area, visitors are ushered into the premium Rhino coach, which will take them directly to WRS’ parks in Mandai.

“Conceived jointly by WRS and DUCK & HiPPO, Safari Gate is a game changer, a departure from the current market offering of fixed-time group tours. It puts control back in the hands of the visitors. With hourly departures to the parks, 10 trips a day, visitors get to tour at their own time and pace. It’s free and easy, no more fixed timing or itinerary,” said Mr James Heng, Chief Duckie, DUCK & HiPPO.

Mr Lee Meng Tat, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Wildlife Reserves Singapore is constantly looking for ways to enhance visitor experience in our parks; and with Safari Gate, we are moving a step beyond our parks’ boundaries to enhance the transport touchpoint for our visitors. We seek to provide a seamless and convenient transition for them to get from the city to Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo, and back.”

Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, Director of Attractions, Dining and Retail, Singapore Tourism Board said, “Safari Gate is an excellent example of how industry players can come together to find synergies and collaborate creatively to enhance the visitor experience. The Singapore Tourism Board welcomes more of such partnerships.”

Safari Gate was officially launched today by Mr James Heng and Mr Lee Meng Tat. As part of the launch, a group of special guests from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) were among the first to experience this premium service, and to enjoy an afternoon at River Safari.

Safari Gate allows visitors flexibility to start their tour at any time. With hourly departures from the city to the parks from as early as 8.30am and the last returning coach at 10:30pm, there are more then 10 trips per day to choose from. As an added service, DUCK & HiPPO provides free transfer from city hotels to the two Safari Gates.

Visitors are also free to tour at their own pace, and can make the most of their time at the parks without being tied down to a specific itinerary or fixed time departure.

Along the way, on-board entertainment gives visitors an insight into each park, and allows them to plan their visit prior to their arrival. The 45-minute Rhino coach to Mandai is no longer a mundane bus ride. It is a prelude to a wild adventure. More information about Safari Gate is available at www.safarigate.com.

GIANT PANDA KAI KAI ACES ANNUAL HEALTH CHECK

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Preliminary results indicate that six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile.

Singapore, 3 April 2014River Safari’s male panda, Kai Kai, underwent a thorough medical examination last Friday as part of a routine annual check-up, and the veterinary team is happy with the results.

The 1.5 hour-long examination comprised a full dental and body check, blood sample withdrawal, an X-ray and ultrasound scan. For the first time since he arrived in Singapore, Kai Kai’s health check also included electroejaculation — a technique commonly used for semen collection to evaluate the reproductive status of animals. While more data analysis is being conducted toassess the quality of the sperms, preliminary results indicate that six-year-old Kai Kai is a healthy, fertile male.

Vets and keepers are closely monitoring Kai Kai and his female partner, Jia Jia, for significant changes in behaviour that indicate their readiness to mate. When ready, male pandas will vocalise, perform handstands against trees, walls and rocks, scent-marking as high up as possible. Females will show signs such as scent-marking, restlessness and characteristic bleating sounds.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team, led by Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Serena Oh (right), prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for a routine medical examination that includes a full dental and body check. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team, led by Assistant Director of Veterinary
Services, Dr. Serena Oh (right), prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for a routine medical
examination that includes a full dental and body check. Medical checks show that the six-year-old
male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team performs an ultrasound scan on an anaesthetised Kai Kai as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the sixyear- old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team performs an ultrasound scan on an
anaesthetised Kai Kai as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the sixyear-
old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for an X-ray as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s veterinary team prepares an anaesthetised Kai Kai for an
X-ray as part of a routine medical examination. Medical checks show that the six-year-old male
panda is healthy and fertile. (PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE)

EXPERTS AIM TO SAVE ONE OF SINGAPORE’S MOST THREATENED UNIQUE SPECIES AT INAUGURAL ROUNDTABLE ON FRESHWATER CRAB CONSERVATION

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NParks, NUS, IUCN, and WRS among agencies collaborating to save endemic crabs, including Johora singaporensis which is among the 100 most threatened species in the world.

Singapore, 29 March 2014Johora singaporensis, commonly called the Singapore freshwater crab, is arguably one of the most threatened unique species of Singapore. To discuss ways to develop an overall plan for conservation of this species, experts convened in the inaugural Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation which began with a two-day closed-door panel discussion, and concluded with a public forum on 29 March 2014.

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: DANIEL NG

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an
indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: DANIEL NG

The four organisations involved are National Parks Board (NParks), National University of Singapore (NUS), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS). The inaugural Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation is funded by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund.

First discovered and described in 1986, the Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis) is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, and is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. This endemic species, only found in Singapore, grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change.

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: CAI YIXIONG

The critically endangered Singapore freshwater crab (Johora singaporensis), is among the 100 most threatened species in the world. Found only in Singapore, it grows up to 3cm across the carapace, or the shell, and up to 5cm with the legs stretched out. It performs an important role in the proper functioning of hill streams by helping in nutrient recycling, and is potentially an indicator of pollution and climate change. PHOTO CREDITS: CAI YIXIONG

“When I discovered and named this species in the 1980s, I had no idea that its future would be a matter of debate and concern some 25 years on,” said Professor Peter Ng of the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science. “It heartens me that so many people are now trying to save this ‘insignificant invertebrate’ from imminent extinction. It would indeed have been a dark tragedy if discovering the species all those years ago was merely a prelude to its extinction. I hope it is not.”

“Crabs such as Johora singaporensis are typically found in hill streams, which is a rare habitat in Singapore to begin with, being restricted to only the central part of the island,” added Assistant Professor Darren Yeo, who is also with the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science.

Decade-long monitoring of the populations of Johora singaporensis has revealed that these crabs have an environmental preference for relatively clean and fast-flowing streams in the highlands with a near neutral pH. Presently, the crab is found largely in Bukit Batok, Bukit Gombak and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. They can persist even in small fragmented habitats under the right conditions. Current conservation efforts include plans to establish a breeding programme, as well as an ongoing two-year research project launched in 2013 by NParks and NUS to study the conditions of the crabs’ existing habitats and possible remedial actions. As conservation efforts gain momentum, the next important milestone is to gather key stakeholders together to improve them.

The Roundtable on Freshwater Crab Conservation brings together key stakeholders involved in conservation of the iconic Johora singaporensis, for consolidation and dissemination of results of ongoing freshwater crab conservation efforts in Singapore. Foreign and local ecologists including researchers from the National University of Singapore and officers from the National Parks Board working on Johora singaporensis, as well as other members from Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Nature Society Singapore, Ministry of Defence, Singapore Land Authority, National Environment Agency, Public Utilities Board, and Urban Redevelopment Authority have all been invited to participate, brainstorm, contribute their unique perspectives, and help mould a future conservation plan for this species.

Dr Lena Chan, Director of National Biodiversity Centre, NParks, said, “NParks is committed to the conservation of our native freshwater organisms, particularly endemic species like the Singapore Freshwater Crab Johora singaporensis, Johnson’s Freshwater Crab Irmengardia johnsoni and Swamp Forest Crab Parathelphusa reticulata. We look forward to our usual amicable multi-agency co-operation which is crucial for the success of this conservation initiative.”

Dr Neil Cumberlidge, Chair of the IUCN SSC Freshwater Crab and Crayfish Specialist Group, and Dr Philip McGowan of the IUCN Species Survival Conservation Planning Sub-Committee will both participate in the Roundtable, adding valuable inputs to the design of the conservation plan. Dr McGowan said, “Effective conservation in today’s world has to balance the needs of species with those of people and their interests. Our approach has evolved to reflect that. The purpose of strategic planning is to understand what is driving the threats to the Singapore freshwater crab and then develop a holistic and realistic way forward that gives this iconic species the best chance of survival. Strategic planning on its own will not save the species, but the understanding and agreement that is part of the planning process, greatly improves its survival prospects.”

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said, “Wildlife Reserves Singapore is continuously exploring ways we can work with field researchers, and contribute to the ex-situ conservation of Johora singaporensis. A possible method may be to establish a trial breeding project in River Safari for these native crabs, followed by the eventual reintroduction of the species into restored, rehabilitated streams.”

This Roundtable is also indicative of Singapore’s willingness and seriousness regarding the protection of its freshwater biodiversity and the ‘not-so-charismatic’ fauna.

WORLD’S RAREST TORTOISES TO LOSE FACE VALUE

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Tattooing the tortoise and keeping Ploughshares out of the Illegal Trade

Tattooing the tortoise and keeping Ploughshares out of the Illegal Trade

Singapore, 16th December 2013 – Conservation organizations fighting to save one of the world’s most threatened tortoises from poachers are resorting to a drastic measure—engraving identification codes onto the animals’ shells to reduce their black market value.

Although fully protected, Ploughshare Tortoises are prized for their beautiful high domed shells, but are being pushed closer to the brink of extinction due to high demand as unique and exotic pets. Engraving a tortoise’s shell makes it less desirable to traffickers and easier for enforcement agencies to trace.

Found only in north‐western Madagascar, the tortoise is Critically Endangered and only an estimated 400 adults remain in the wild. Numbers have been devastated through illegal collection and export to meet the international demand for the pet trade, especially in South‐East Asia, where they are sold in markets particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

In March, two smugglers were arrested with 52 Ploughshare Tortoises in suitcases while attempting to enter Thailand, where traders redistribute the animals to dealers locally and abroad. This was the largest ever seizure of Ploughshare Tortoises in Southeast Asia. One of the smugglers, a Malagasy woman was jailed, while the other, a Thai man, was released on bail.

This case exemplifies the increased audacity of smugglers, the urgency of the situation and the need for enforcement agencies to take the illegal trade in this species far more seriously. Based on seizures reported in the media, at least 86 Ploughshare Tortoises have been seized since 2010. Over 60% of these seizures occurred in Thailand while remaining seizures took place in Madagascar and Malaysia; with at least one of the shipments destined for Indonesia.

Four organisations – Wildlife Reserves Singapore, TRAFFIC, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Turtle Conservancy – are joining forces to hold a “Tattoo the Tortoise” event on 16th December at Singapore Zoo to raise awareness of the plight of the Ploughshare and to build support to fight trafficking in the species.

Singapore Zoo currently houses two Ploughshare Tortoises which were confiscated by the Agri‐Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore in 2009. The pair will be used to establish an ‘assurance colony’ in Singapore. The top shell of each tortoise will be engraved during this event – a first for South‐East Asia.

The event will include presentations by experts working on the conservation of these tortoises and an exhibition open to the public. These activities provide an opportunity for the public, governments and other relevant bodies to learn about the dire situation these animals face, and what they can do to save the Ploughshare Tortoises.

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Chris R Shepherd, Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.
T: +6012 2340790, E: chris.shepherd@traffic.org

Ms Natt Haniff, Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications, Wildlife Reserve s Singapore
T: +65 6360 8659 / +65 9362 8115, E: natt.haniff@wrs.com.sg

Mr Richard Lewis, Madagascar Programme Director, Durrell Wildlife Conservati on Trust
E: Richard.Lewis@durrell.org

Ms Kaitlyn‐Elizabeth Foley, Program Officer and Grants Manager, Turtle Conserv ancy
T: +01 212 353‐5060, E: kaitlyn@turtleconservancy.org

TRIPLE THRILL FOR WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE AT SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE AWARDS 2013

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- Night Safari wins 11th honour for Best Visitor Attraction Experience category.
– Singapore Zoo’s ‘Wild Discoverer Tour’ joint winner for Best Travel Experience.
– ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ wins Most Innovative Marketing Initiative.

Singapore, 21 October 2013Wildlife Reserves Singapore walked away with three accolades at the Singapore Experience Awards 2013: Night Safari, the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals, was again recognised for providing the ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’, making this its 11th honour in this category; Singapore Zoo’s Wild Discoverer Tour was a joint winner for Best Travel Experience; Wildlife Reserves Singapore also won the Most Innovative Marketing Initiative with ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore's winning team

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s winning team

Hosted and presented by the Singapore Tourism Board, the Singapore Experience Awards is Singapore tourism’s highest accolade; celebrating the luminaries who constantly innovate and create distinctive and compelling Singapore experiences.

World-famous Night Safari beat two other nominees; Singapore Zoo, which is also managed by parent company Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and Botanic Gardens to win the ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’ category.

Singapore Zoo’s Wild Discoverer Tour tied with ‘Changi WWIITM – A Changi Museum War Trail’ for the ‘Best Travel Experience’ award.

These two awards are among 11 that were given out in the ‘Experience’ category, which recognise organisations which package experiential elements to create a distinctive Singapore experience that encompasses product and service excellence, and is enjoyable and memorable to visitors. Finalists were also scored against factors such as the delivery of the experience, customer satisfaction and marketing initiatives undertaken to enhance overall guest experience. Another important criterion for the category was a mystery shopping experience at the shortlisted attraction by the judging panel.

In the awards category for marketing and media, ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ won the Most Innovative Marketing Initiative, beating ‘A Classic GSS Affair @OC’ and ‘Singapore “Be A Star Kid” Children Enrichment Program’.

This award is one of four in the marketing and media category, which celebrates marketing and promotional efforts through creative campaigns and media that showcase the compelling sights and sounds of Singapore.

Results were unveiled at a gala presentation ceremony at the Marriot Hotel Singapore this evening. This year saw a total of 82 finalists vying for 27 awards. Finalists in each category were nominated by industry players and experts, with the final winner picked by a panel of judges.

Mr Lee Meng Tat, CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “There is much to celebrate this evening. We are elated and honoured to receive this trio of awards, which are testament to our hard work and commitment to achieving, maintaining, and even surpassing the best international standards for our wildlife parks.

Being the world’s first nocturnal zoo, Night Safari’s unique offering and stellar reputation has made her a firm favourite and iconic attraction for both foreign and local visitors. Through the years, the team has worked hard to maintain this world class establishment. Winning this year is especially sweet as we look forward to celebrating her 20th anniversary in May 2014.

And with Singapore Zoo celebrating her 40th anniversary this year, having our Wild Discoverer Tour jointly win the Best Travel Experience is definitely the icing on the cake!

We are equally thrilled that ‘Pandamonium Hits Singapore’ has been chosen Most Innovative Marketing Initiative. It’s just been a year since we welcomed giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia to Singapore’s shores, and clearly Singaporeans have embraced them with open arms and continue to follow their every move.”

He added: “We will continue to set the bar higher for ourselves every year, to provide our guests with their most memorable experiences at Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, and our other attractions, Jurong Bird Park and River Safari.”

SINGAPORE ZOO INVITES FANS TO SHARE THEIR FAVOURITE ZOO MEMORIES

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“I ♥ Singapore Zoo” fan photo contest to be launched on 40th anniversary celebrations microsite.

Have such photos In your albums? Share them with us, for a chance to win a wild day out at Singapore Zoo.

Have such photos In your albums? Share them with us, for a chance to win a wild day out at Singapore Zoo.

Singapore, 28 March 2013 — Singapore Zoo’s 40th Anniversary celebrations continue, with the launch of an “I ♥ Singapore Zoo” fan photo contest.

From 29 March – 30 April 2013, Singapore Zoo invites all its Facebook fans to dust off their photo albums and share their favourite photo memory during a zoo outing to recount the zoo’s journey through the last 40 years.

Participants can enter the contest via the newly launched Singapore Zoo 40th anniversary celebrations microsite: zoo40.zoo.com.sg. It is open to everyone who is a Wildlife Reserves Singapore Facebook fan. Each fan may make unlimited submissions, but each photo can only be submitted once, and has to be accompanied by a caption to be eligible for a prize.* Winning photos will be unveiled on a photowall in June 2013.

Ten lucky winners will win a dining experience for two at Singapore Zoo’s Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife in June. Participants also stand to win Singapore Zoo admission tickets to re-live their memories in the park.

Singapore Zoo is one of four wildlife attractions managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, with the others being Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and the upcoming River Safari. The Zoo is also a designated rescued wildlife centre by the governing authority.

For more information and the latest updates on Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary celebrations, visit zoo40.zoo.com.sg, or www.facebook.com/wrs.sg.

*Terms and conditions are available at the Singapore Zoo’s 40th anniversary celebrations microsite and Wildlife Reserves Singapore Facebook page.

I ♥ Singapore Zoo

I ♥ Singapore Zoo

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