WORLD’S RAREST BLUE MACAWS IN SINGAPORE

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Native to Brazil, blue macaws to be conservation ambassadors for their kind; Jurong Bird Park a member of group working to save the critically endangered Spix’s Macaw from extinction.

Image (LEFT): The endangered Lear’s Macaw—on a 10-year loan to Jurong Bird Park—is distinguishable by its yellow teardrop-shaped marking near its beak. Image (RIGHT): The critically endangered Spix’s Macaw—is likely extinct in the wild with just over 150 individuals left under human care worldwide in dedicated facilities. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 3 November 2017 — Singapore is now home to two of the world’s rarest macaw species—the Spix’s Macaw and the Lear’s Macaw.

With the arrival of these conservation ambassadors, Jurong Bird Park will be the only zoological park in the world where visitors will be able to appreciate all three existing species of the blue macaw family—including the park’s existing Hyacinth Macaw collection—and learn about the efforts being made to save them from extinction. The Glaucous Macaw—the last member of the blue macaw family—has not been sighted since the 1960s and is believed to be extinct.

The critically endangered Spix’s Macaw, also known as the Little Blue Macaw, is believed to be extinct in the wild, with the last confirmed sighting in 2005, and there are just over 150 individuals left under human care worldwide. It is the same blue macaw which inspired the Rio movie series, and whose breeding programme is currently managed by Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, in Qatar, the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots, in Germany and Fazenda Cachoeira, in Brazil. The Lear’s Macaw is listed as endangered, and has about 1,300 individuals left in the wild. The Hyacinth Macaw is currently in Jurong Bird Park’s collection, and is listed as vulnerable.

Jurong Bird Park received one Spix’s Macaw and two Lear’s Macaws each from Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation and the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots. These birds will be ambassadors for their species, and for the conservation programme that strives to save them from extinction.

Jurong Bird Park is also a member of the Spix’s Macaw Working Group for the recovery and conservation of this species in the wild, along with six other members: Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, a branch of the Ministry of the Environment in Brazil; the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation—Lubara Breeding Centre; the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots; Parrots International and Fazenda Cachoeira.

In 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding was inked between members of the Working Group, with Jurong Bird Park committing to provide support in establishing a breeding and release facility in Brazil—the species’ native homeland—with the ultimate aim of reintroducing the species into the wild. The reintroduction is targeted for 2021 and all the institutions are making a great effort to make this dream possible.

Since then, Jurong Bird Park has been playing an active role in the implementation of the conservation strategy for these species together with the partners, and in preparation for the arrival of the blue macaws, had sent animal care staff to the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots to learn about care and husbandry for these very important feathered friends.

The Spix’s and Lear’s Macaws are on a 10-year loan agreement, with their debut in Jurong Bird Park marking the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Singapore.

Visitors can look forward to visiting the blue macaws at Jurong Bird Park’s Parrot Paradise exhibit from 22 November onwards. At the exhibit, visitors will also be able learn more about the Spix’s Macaw Conservation Action Plan and Reintroduction Programme, spearheaded and led by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation.

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SINGAPORE ZOO WELCOMES 21st WHITE RHINO CALF

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Robust baby up and walking within an hour of birth; First male calf in five years

Image 1 (left): Donsa, Singapore Zoo’s 32-year-old female white rhino proudly shows off her calf. This is Donsa’s 11th baby and one of seven white rhinos at the wildlife park. Altogether, 21 white rhinos have been born in the zoo, some of which have been sent to zoos in Australia, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand as part of a global animal exchange programme.

Image 2 (right): The yet-to-be-named calf stays close to mom Donsa at Singapore Zoo’s back of house rhino facility. Visitors to the park will be able to see him in a few months, when he is ready to join the rest of the herd. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 28 September 2017Singapore Zoo’s prolific 32-year-old white rhino Donsa quietly delivered her eleventh calf in the wee hours of 6 September, and by the time her keepers arrived for work within an hour of the birth, the healthy male calf was already taking his first wobbly steps.

With 20 rhino births under their belts, keepers knew Donsa was due to deliver, and had prepped the birthing den two days before, in anticipation of the new arrival.
The yet-to-be-named calf currently spends time bonding with mom in the back of house facility. An energetic lad, the young one enjoys being scratched with an extended brush.

Keepers use this opportunity to get him comfortable to their presence. These sessions also pave the way for future medical training: conditioning that allows animals to be examined and given simple treatment without being stressed.

Singapore Zoo is home to seven of these majestic creatures, and the latest addition is the first male born in five years after a string of females. Of the 21 babies born here, some have been sent to Australia, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand as part of the Zoo’s ex-situ conservation efforts through its worldwide exchange programme.

Although Donsa and baby are not in the public eye yet, you can meet Hoepel the proud father, and the other white rhinos, during their daily 1.15pm feeding session—the first ever in Asia and one of Singapore Zoo’s signature programmes—and experience an up close and personal encounter with these giants.

White rhinos are considered near threatened in the wild on the IUCN’s* Red List of Threatened species. Together with the Indian rhino, it is the largest species of land mammal after the elephant. They are poached for their horns, which some believe as having medicinal properties. In fact, the horns are made of solid keratin, the same material in hair and fingernails, and there has been no scientific evidence to suggest that they are a cure for anything.

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Image 3 (left): Although barely three weeks old, Singapore Zoo’s white rhino calf already knows what he loves—being scratched! Keepers indulge him in this activity as part of early conditioning, which allows him to be comfortable around keepers and less resistant to touch during future medical procedures. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

*International Union for the Conservation of Nature

SCALY SURPRISES AWAIT AT REPTOPIA AT RIVER SAFARI AND SINGAPORE ZOO

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Join the reptile revolution over weekends of 27 May – 26 June;
Signature Zoolympix event and first-ever Camp Fest add pizzazz to holiday festivities

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Image 1: Love them or hate them, reptiles are fascinating creatures. Discover the scaly denizens of Singapore Zoo’s new RepTopia exhibit this June holidays. Make a date with the panther chameleon, Gaboon viper and other equally amazing reptilian friends, and learn more about them through engaging activities. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 27 April 2017 – An array of remarkable reptiles is set to make their debut at Singapore Zoo this June, with the launch of the aptly-named new reptile exhibit – RepTopia. Over the weekends of 27 May – 26 June, guests are in for a reptile revolution with a spectrum of engaging activities. Discover and appreciate reptiles through a diverse range of activities, including enlightening animal enrichment sessions, reptile-inspired craft activities and costumed charm-eleon meet and greet sessions.

As part of the RepTopia experience, the ever popular Zoolympix returns for the 13th year. This year’s edition—Zoolympix 2017: Reptile Revolution—invites you to turn your ewws to awws! Embark on the trail to change your perception of these awesome and charismatic animals. Discover reptile-y skills, defensive moves and more cool facts through games and rep-tivities.

For those who can’t get enough of wildlife, consider joining us for the first ever Camp Fest 2017! Make a date with our animal friends over the weekend of 27-28 May at Night Safari, River Safari or Singapore Zoo with one of three camping options. Fall asleep under the stars to the gentle roar of the lion, or snooze in the depths of the flooded forest of the Amazon.

RepTopia – Eww’ll love it

Dates: 27, 28 May, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 June (weekends only)
Time: Various (refer to onsite activity signage for details)
Fee: Activities are free but normal admission rates to both parks apply
River Safari: $30.00 (adult) and $20.00 (child 3 to 12 years)
Singapore Zoo: $33.00 (adult) and $22.00 (child 3 to 12 years)
Note: Local residents’ exclusive: Get $20 off the 2-park River Safari and Singapore Zoo Combo.
Valid from 27 May to 24 June 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

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Zoolympix

Learn about the fascinating and weird abilities that reptiles have at various stations in RepTopia and Reptile Garden. From super speeds to colour changing abilities and eyes that see in different directions, you’ll be amazed!

Date: 27 May – 2 June, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26 June
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: Singapore Zoo (various – check onsite for details)
Fee: $3 to participate (RepTopia quest map included!)
RepTopia quest map available at Awareness Booth (opposite Zoo Retail Shop) and welcome booth at sun bear exhibit
Registration closes at 3.30pm.
Notes: Normal admission rates of $33.00 (adult) and $22.00 (child 3 to 12 years) apply
Activities are recommended for children from 4 years old

More information on the June holiday activities at http://www.zoo.com.sg/events-promos/reptopia.html

Camp Fest

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Image 2: Enjoy an evening campfire at Safari Snooze at Singapore Zoo and be serenaded by the symphony of wildlife

Image 3: Drift off to sleep in the company of manatees at River Safari’s RiverBed and Breakfast

PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

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Registration closes 13 May 2017. For more information about Camp Fest, visit http://education.zoo.com.sg/campfest.html

Fancy visiting our award-winning parks year-round? Enjoy annual access into all four of Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s parks with our Friends of Wildlife membership for just S$119 for an individual membership. Terms and conditions apply.

The Mandai Express daily shuttle is available from Khatib MRT to Singapore Zoo between 8.30am to 7.00pm at 30 minute intervals. Children below 3 years old ride for free. Fares are $1 each way, and only payable by EZ-link card.

HUMAN RACE RAISES $100,000 FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

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WRS to increase conservation contribution for Sumatran orangutan conservation projects;
Sumatran elephant, hornbill and turtle projects in Southeast Asia also receive funding support

Singapore, 18 February 2017 — Over 7,500 participants thronged the leafy pathways of Night Safari and Singapore Zoo in the ninth instalment of Safari Zoo Run today, in support of wildlife conservation, and in the hopes of garnering more funding support for their animal icon teams.

Runners representing Team Ah Meng came out tops, garnering additional funding support of $40,000 for Sumatran orangutan projects. Wildlife Reserves Singapore will also commit an additional $20,000 each to regional projects supporting helmeted hornbills, Southeast Asian freshwater turtles and Sumatran elephants—all critically endangered wildlife, which were represented by Team Sunny, Team Canola and Team Ah Meng.

In 2016, Ah Meng was unveiled as Singapore Zoo’s animal icon. In subsequent months, the other park icons—Jurong Bird Park’s Sunny the hornbill, Night Safari’s Chawang the elephant and River Safari’s Canola the manatee—were revealed.

Together, these four animal icons helped spread the conservation message at today’s Safari Zoo Run. This year, participants played a more active role and helped in deciding the division of funds for conservation when they chose a team to join. Each team, represented by the four park icons, champions a species of critically endangered animal. Running on a new points system, participants were given opportunities to collect points for their team. The team with the highest points would then lead to a larger allocation of funds for the conservation of the championed endangered species.

Team Ah Meng was one of the more popular choices, with close to 30 per cent of runners choosing to support Singapore Zoo’s animal icon. The team also scored points on the most number of Instagram posts uploaded during the race.

Mr Mike Barclay, Group CEO of Mandai Park Holdings, the holding company of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, joined the action and ran alongside runners in the 10km competitive category. Families could enjoy the more manageable 5.5km or 2.5km runs. A competitive 2.5km Kids Dash was also available for children. In addition, runners enjoyed appearances by animal mascots, educational show and tell sessions, and animal photography sessions after their races.

Singapore Bank Scandal

Image 1: Ms Isabel Cheng, Chief Marketing Officer (left, on stage), and Ms Sherri Lim, Chief Park Operations and Revenue Officer (third from left, on stage), both of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, flag off Safari Zoo Run’s first run of the day – the 10km competitive race. They are accompanied by the Ah Meng animal icon mascot. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Bank Scandal

Image 2: Runners took the time to take selfies and wefies at the various animal exhibits, to give their teams an edge. Teams which had the most sign-ups, Instagram posts and winning runners received more points, ensuring a higher allocation of funding support for their selected conservation projects. Team Ah Meng emerged as the winner! PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore Bank Scandal

Image 3: Some Safari Zoo Run participants really got into the wild spirit! In the end, the animals are the champions, with Wildlife Reserves Singapore committing an additional $100,000 in funding support to regional conservation projects which will benefit helmeted hornbills, Sumatran elephants, Southeast Asian freshwater turtles and Sumatran orangutans. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

 

CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S DAY WITH SOME SERIOUS FUN AT SINGAPORE ZOO THIS OCTOBER

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Children enter free and are invited to save their favourite baby animals by voting to determine how an additional $60,000 in conservation funds will be allocated; Learn about conservation on newly launched
Go Green for Wildlife microsite and through in-park activities

Celebrate Children’s Day by voting for your favourite animal and help direct additional conservation funding to protect the species. Kids 12 years and under heading to Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo from 1-31 October 2016 will enjoy free admission with a paying adult.
PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 27 September 2016 – In line with Children’s Day, Singapore Zoo is celebrating kids of all species this October and little people 12 years and under will be treated to some serious fun.

Through cute, scaly, and unusual baby animals, the Zoo aims to convey conservation messages and impart a love for the environment in children. Every weekend in October, meet furry animals Poe the binturong pup, Foxtrot the fennec fox kit, and Winona the goat kid at Singapore Zoo, or their unusual but equally adorable baby friends, the caterpillar, mealworm, red-footed tortoise, and others.

In addition, guests can go on a self-guided baby animal trail to discover some of the new births in the park, including the proboscis monkey, white rhinoceros, Komodo dragon, orangutan and more! Guests who take a photo of at least six baby animals can redeem an attractive gift.

To drive awareness of sustainability and conservation among the young, children are empowered to play an active role in helping Wildlife Reserves Singapore (parent company of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo) decide where to channel part of its conservation funds. WRS supports over 25 conservation and research projects in Singapore and the region aimed at protecting wildlife in their native habitats. Under the ‘Vote for Wildlife’ initiative, an additional S$60,000 has been pledged in support of ongoing projects to protect Raffles’ banded langurs, Sumatran elephants, and Sumatran orangutans, broken down as follows:

  • For every online vote or share (www.gogreenforwildlife.com) WRS will donate 20 cents to the selected conservation project with funding capped at $40,000 across the 3 projects.
  • For on-site votes, the selected conservation projects will receive a boost of $10,000, $6,000, or $4,000 in conservation funds depending on number of votes.

The public are invited to vote onsite in Singapore Zoo, or on the campaign microsite http://www.gogreenforwildlife.com which also hosts a treasure trove of conservation knowledge to enrich little minds.

In addition, from 1-31 October, children 12 years and under enjoy complimentary admission into Jurong Bird Park, River Safari and Singapore Zoo, with the purchase of an adult ticket (Terms and conditions apply).

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NATIONAL STRATEGY TO CONSERVE ELUSIVE NATIVE RAFFLES’ BANDED LANGUR LAUNCHED

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Collaborative effort between Wildlife Reserves Singapore and National Parks Board to save critically endangered primate; only one of three primates found in Singapore a valued part of country’s natural heritage

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The Raffles’ Banded Langur is a shy and elusive primate that is considered critically endangered at the national level. This National Day month, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and National Parks Board are joining hands to safeguard this species’ survival with the launch of a national conservation strategy for the Raffles’ Banded Langur. PHOTO CREDITS: ANDIE ANG

SINGAPORE, 12 August 2016 – Singapore’s Raffles’ Banded Langur (Presbytis femoralis femoralis) is getting a boost this National Day month, with the launch of a national conservation strategy for the critically endangered species. Ambassador-at-Large Professor Tommy Koh, who will serve as patron of the project, launched the initiative during a ceremony at Singapore Botanic Gardens today.

 

Immediate priorities include managing the habitat and population through habitat enhancement such as establishing green corridors and exploring options for providing connectivity across forest fragments, focused enrichment plantings based on our understanding of the dietary requirements of the langurs, gathering data to understand more about the movements and habitat preferences of the langurs, and securing the necessary commitment and resources to ensure the long-term conservation of the Raffles’ Banded Langur in Singapore and Malaysia.

A workshop was held at the Singapore Zoo in early August in which over 30 stakeholders from 15 organisations, including representatives from Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), National Parks Board (NParks), International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group, Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia, conservation NGOs and universities came together to jointly develop a conservation strategy for the Raffles’ Banded Langur. The workshop was funded by WRS and facilitated by IUCN.

Securing a future for the Raffles’ Banded Langur will require targeted action in a number of areas. Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund will engage Ms Andie Ang, who has studied the langurs since 2008, and is a member of IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, to set up and chair a Raffles’ Banded Langur Working Group. The working group will glean outputs from the recent workshop to map out a Species Action Plan, which will be used to guide and implement the conservation work for this species in the coming years. The project is fully supported by Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund over the next two years.

One of only three non-human primates to be found locally, the Raffles’ Banded Langur was first discovered by Sir Stamford Raffles 194 years ago. Up to the 1920s, they were still reported to be common in Singapore across Changi, Tampines, Bukit Timah, Pandan and Tuas. Deforestation for urban development led to the shrinking of their habitat such that the Raffles’ Banded Langurs were confined to only the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR) and Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) in the 1980s. In 1987, the last member of a troop living in BTNR was reportedly mauled to death by a pack of dogs.

By 2010, it was estimated that there were 40-60 Raffles’ Banded Langurs left in Singapore. This subspecies can also be found in southern Peninsular Malaysia, where a number of isolated populations continue to be threatened by habitat loss and conversion. Small and isolated populations have a heightened risk of extinction from the effects of genetic deterioration, extreme weather, disease outbreak and other catastrophic events.

Dr Sonja Luz, Director, Conservation and Research, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “It is a fitting time to embark on a consolidated, comprehensive and integrated conservation strategy for the Raffles’ Banded Langur, to ensure the continued survival of this highly charismatic primate. This conservation project is of national importance for Singapore, and together with NParks, we are fully committed to be a part of the pioneering approach to manage the species over the long-term so Singapore does not have a primate going extinct on our watch.”

Dr Adrian Loo, Director (Terrestrial), National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board, said: “Reforestation, setting aside buffer parks such as the upcoming Thomson Nature Park and enrichment planting over the years have improved the rainforest habitat of the endangered Raffles’ Banded Langur. This will further help increase the foraging area and connectivity for the species, which saw an increase since the early 1990s. Even so, a multi-pronged approach is required to ensure the full recovery of the species. Thus, NParks looks forward to working with our stakeholders to guide the development of long-term conservation and management strategies for this shy, elusive species. We hope to see these animals thrive in our forests one day.”

Primatologist Ms Andie Ang, of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group said: “The development of a regional Species Action Plan signifies a first collaboration between Singaporean and Malaysian authorities, universities, and NGOs in the research and conservation of the Raffles’ Banded Langurs. Besides ensuring that the habitat of the langurs is protected and restored, we hope that this joint effort can also help raise public awareness and appreciation of this primate and the natural heritage in both countries.”

WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE OFFERS FOUR PARKS FOR THE PRICE OF TWO* FROM APRIL ONWARDS

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Change in pricing structure sees better value on multi-park visits with significant reductions in prices

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Both local and foreign guests will be able to enjoy more affordable wildlife adventures at the four award-winning Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks—Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, Singapore Zoo—when the revised multi-park ParkHopper prices kick in this April. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE, 28 March 2016 – To encourage guests to visit more than one of its award-winning parks at a time, Wildlife Reserves Singapore will revise the price structure for its multi-park ParkHopper passes from 1 April 2016.

ParkHopper bundled admission tickets allow guests to visit two or four of its wildlife parks (Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo) within seven days from the first park visit. Visitors opting for a four-park excursion will only need to pay $69, which translates to massive savings of $68 as opposed to purchasing single entry park admission tickets*. Those who prefer a two-park visit will save up to $19. Online purchases will receive a further 10 per cent discount on either bundled admission package.

* Four-park rate based on average price of single entry park admission tickets

Mr Mike Barclay, Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “Our four parks each have a distinctive character, and each offers a unique wildlife adventure. We hope that many of our guests will take advantage of our new ParkHopper pricing to enjoy interactions with our living collection in all four of our parks.”

In addition to revised ParkHopper rates, single entry tickets to the four parks will be adjusted. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents will enjoy lower priced tickets through online and onsite purchases throughout the year. There will be a 25 per cent discount for online purchases and a 15 per cent discount for onsite purchases across all four parks.

Senior citizen concessions of up to 60 per cent remain, with the addition of complimentary tram rides at Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo, making it easier and more enjoyable for our golden generation to explore the parks.

Tram and boat ride tickets for both adults and children remain unchanged. Students on school excursions will continue to enjoy heavily subsidised rates of up to 80 per cent. WRS also provides complimentary admission for beneficiaries under WRS’ list of voluntary welfare organisations.

WRS charges are comparable to other leisure attractions in Singapore. Individuals and families keen to make multiple visits throughout the year can sign up for reasonably-priced membership packages.

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