The Nature Society adopted the area of the URA-designated Kranji Marshes Park under the PUB Water-bodies Adoption Scheme in November 2008. This Adoption Schemes falls under the ABC Waters Programme of the PUB which embodies the Principle of the 3Ps (the Private, the Public and the People). The Society, as one of the People stakeholders, is carrying out the ecological objectives of the ABC Waters programme by taking care of the Kranji Marshes.
The designated Marshes area is located along the north-western shore of the Kranji Reservoir, south of the Kranji Sancturay Golf Course. The area in total is estimated at 39 hectares, with adjacent woodland, and is a major freshwater marshland habitat in Singapore harbouring a rich biodiversity in terms of its birdlife and butterflies.
The Society has, as its initial activity, concentrated on opening up a much clogged pond in order to allow water birds such as the Lesser Whistling Duck and the Common Moorhen to find their preferred habitat. This restoration of the pond as an open water habitat, has also involved creating two small mud islands for birds. Whilst some of the clearing has to be done by machine, groups of volunteers, including some from Bloomberg,are involved in clearing unwanted vegetation from the edges and in heaping it up for transfer to a local organic farm as compost and mulch material. Success has already been registered by sightings of Cotton Pygmy Goose and of Common Moorhen at the pond in early 2010. Volunteers from the various NSS Special Interest Groups have also engaged in base-line surveys of all types of flora and fauna at the site, and will monitor over the years to see changes. Volunteers also lead regularly monthly walks for members of the public from Neo Tiew Lane to the marshes and onto the bund along the reservoir, as well as walks conducted by the Special Interest Groups for NSS members. Publications of informational booklets on the area are targeted.
The overall project has been supported by sponsorships from Bloomberg Organization and from the NEA-organized CEO Run at Semakau in 2008.
Latest Bird Surveys and Pond Maintenance with Bloomberg and River Valley High School
July 13, 2010
By Dr. Ho Hua Chew
Maintenance work for the Marshy and Clearwater ponds, at their landward edges and shallower parts, were continued by volunteers. Twenty River Valley High School students came back for a second time on 31 April 2010 to resume the clearing of unwanted vegetation. This was followed by 16 staff from Bloomberg in May 2010.
Bloomberg staff clearing unwanted vegetation from the bund
Three birdlife surveys were carried out in February and March 2010, with the objective of setting up an inventory of the types and numbers of bird species that can be found at the reservoir’s Intake Bund and at the marshland fringe along the Intake Channel. One survey was conducted in the late afternoon while the other two were done in the morning. The transect was along the two kilometer Intake Bund, which is currently under restricted access controlled by PUB. These surveys will provide ecological information relevant to the issue of opening up the Bund on a free-and-easy basis to visitors, hikers, cyclists etc. We are concerned that the establishment of a park connector along the Bund will disrupt the birdlife that are using these areas for resting and feeding. The surveys recorded 39 species numbering 204 birds in all. These include the Little Tern(endangered), Grey Heron (vulnerable), Purple Heron (endangered), Yellow-billed Egret, Yellow Bittern and Yellow Wagtail. At least 17 Grey Herons were regularly using the Bund proper for resting and fish foraging.
Flock of Grey Herons on Kranji Bund by Ian Rickword
Exciting Bird Sightings and 1st Volunteer Pond Maintenance
May 29, 2010
By Dr. Ho Hua Chew
Exciting Bird Sightings
After much restoration work to the Kranji Marshes, as part of NSS’ adoption of the Kranji Reservoir, the uncommon Common Moorhen was spotted at the marshy pond on two occasions. Three birds were seen by Leslie Fung on 9 March 2010 and one bird was recorded by myself on 18 March 2010.
Leslie even observed that one of the moorhens was a juvenile. This is good news as the Common Moorhen, which was supposedly common at one time, is hard to come by nowadays. Bird species that were previously not recorded before the restoration are also making a comeback. These include the Yellow-billed or Intermediate Egret, Yellow Wagtail and Von Schrenck’s Bittern.
The best sighting to date is of 2 Cotton Pygmy Goose seen by Lim Kim Seng on 29 January 2010. The one-off appearance of this rare and critically endangered bird is highly significant as it has not been seen for many years.
Twenty students from River Valley High School were down at the Marshes on 24 March 2010 to lend their muscles in clearing the overgrown vegetation at the marshy pond. Teacher-in-charge Mr Azmi and NSS Vice-President Leong Kwok Peng were there to coordinate the effort. Work began at 3 pm but after about an hour and a half, it began to pour heavily. Students quickly sought refuge in their nearby school bus, which acted as a rain and lightning shelter. Maintenance work resumed the following week on 31 March 2010 from 3 pm to 6 pm.
s well as the shallower portions of the water body. The accumulated mass of vegetation was collected by Green Circle Farm’s Evelyn Lim-Eng and her workers for composting.
A Year to Recap!
Feb 16, 2010
By Dr. Ho Hua Chew
One year has elapsed since the launch of NSS’ Kranji Reservoir (Marsh) Adoption under the PUB’s ABC Waters Programme. Much has transpired during this time and here are some updates:
Kranji Nature Walks
Twelve nature walks at Kranji Marsh were conducted for the whole of 2009. Six of these trips were organized for the public as part of our outreach programme; four walks were conducted for NSS members; the remaining two trips were for corporate and social organizations. All trips had an average of 20 participants. The Education Group also held a “Fun at Kranji Marsh” session for 25 NSS Kids and their parents/caregivers, totaling 70 participants in all.
Pond Restoration and Birdlife
The restoration of the large marshy pond was completed in November 2009, which involved the clearing of unwanted vegetation that had overwhelmed the pond for many years.
Wildflowers of Kranji Marsh
Nov 5, 2009
By Gerard Francis
You probably trample on many of these wildflowers without a second thought but look closer and find a world of beauty. Kranji Marsh is a great place to enjoy the wildflowers. Look for them on the grass verges of the road and paths where these low growing plants can get the sun. They climb the trees and shrubs and grow in the ponds. The ones pictured here are common. They are native to our region or were introduced a long time ago and have become widespread and naturalized. Many have found traditional uses as indigenous medicines or foods.
Hedyotis corymbosa, family Rubiaceae
Local name Siku Siku, ixora family. This plant only grows to 30 cm in height. It has really tiny white flowers 3 mm across, in groups of 2 or 4, and the narrow leaves are pointed at both ends.The leaves, or sometimes the roots are used by the Chinese to treat inflammation or to improve blood circulation. In Indian ayurvedic medicine, it is used for a whole range of conditions including fever and jaundice. In western medicine, it is currently being studied for its effectiveness against hepatitis
Identifying ferns with Prof Benito Tan
Oct 6, 2009
By Anuj Jain
Nature Society members continue to frequent the marsh surveying the pond and the pathway from the barrier at the Kranji farm resort all the way to the pond. But this was no ordinary trip. Angie, Yap Von Bing, his wife Ann and Anuj (me) from the Plant Group were fortunate to have Dr. Benito Tan, a world renowned Bryologist (we call him the 'Moss Man') with us to investigate the ferns around the marsh on 3rd October.
Last week, Gerard (a plant enthusiast and an active NSS member) had spotted an unidentified fern growing on the inaccessible side of the pond (it is lined with wild aquatic plants) so identifying this fern was the most exciting thing planned for this trip. Benito guessed the genus as Cyclosorus but it was hard to confirm the species as the details on the underside of the fronds were barely visible from such a distance (about 10 meters).
Surprisingly the fern seemed to grow only in a small patch on the inaccessible side of the pond. We wanted to see a close up of the fern but this proved difficult due to the muddy pond waters in between and the risk of crocodiles in them.
The Moss Man had an idea where else to look for his unidentified fern. Following him along the bund, to our surprise, we found a few patches of the fern - this time growing quite close to the walking path. Indeed! This was quite exciting for all of us. This is Benito’s hand showing us the spores he needed for confirmation. He confirmed it as Cyclosorus gongylodes.
Pond Restoration - The Heroes at Work
Sep 27, 2009
By Anuj Jain
NSS Kranji Reservoir Adoption Committee with the aid of NSS members has rolled up their sleeves quite literally (see the pictures and you will know what I mean). Why? They want to keep the marsh more marshy.
The current indicators like the African tulip tree growing near the PUB station show that the pond is drying up. Put simply, the pond is covered with wild vegetation like Water Bananas (Ludwigia Onagraceae), Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), Yellow Burhead (Limnocharis flava) and Simpoh Air (Dillenia suffruticosa). Leaving behind the important patches, the wild vegetation will be carefully cleared to create an open water area conducive to fowl like the Lesser and Wandering Whistling Ducks. The intent is to attract more water birds and preserve the biodiversity of the area.
May 15, 2009
By Anuj Jain
In 1989, the Kranji Reservoir marshes, together with five other Singapore wetland sites, were included in the IUCN's A Directory of Asian Wetlands (Scott, D.A.; Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, The World Conservation Union, 1989). The Directory emphasizes that the freshwater marsh is "a fairly rare type of habitat in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia" (Scott, 1989).
One of the earliest reports I have seen about the Kranji Marsh dates back to 1985 titled – Clive Briffett, “Kranji Marshes: An Outline Proposal for a New Nature Reserve” (Malayan Nature Society MNS, Singapore Branch, 1985). This was after the nesting site of the Grey Heron was discovered here. The area had also become a popular birdwatching site. But the proposal for a new nature reserve here was rejected by the relevant authority.
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NSS Kranji Reservoir Adoption Program and Ceremony
Nov 29, 2008
By Anuj Jain
WHEN: On 29 November 2008, NSS launched the Kranji Reservoir Adoption Project under the PUB’s ABC Waters Programme (http://www.pub.gov.sg/abcwaters/Pages/default.aspx
). The Launch officiated by the PUB’s Assistant Chief Executive, Mr. Chan Yoon Kum was held at the D’Kranji Farm Resort and about 40 plus people (PUB officials, NSS members & guests from both sides) attended the ceremony.
Below is Mr. Chan Yoon Kum, PUB Assistant Chief Executive presenting the Adoption Plaque to Dr. Shawn Lum, NSS President
It is a historic event because this is the first time NSS is taking responsibility for the care of a Nature Area --- striding forward from merely providing conservation proposals and feedbacks. The press release for the adoption is also available on the PUB website titled: Nature Society Joins PUB’s Our Waters Programme: http://www.pub.gov.sg/mpublications/Pages/PressReleases.aspx?ItemId=191