The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a nature reserve in Singapore. The reserve is listed as an ASEAN Heritage Park and is important to the birds that migrate in this protected environment. It was discovered that many birds stopped in the reserve area when traveling from Siberia to Australia for the winter. The Singapore Branch of the Malayan Nature Society suggested that the area be made into a wetland reserve, and the government declared the area a nature park in 1989. The park was then developed by the National Parks Board. Many different groups have supported the park over the years including HSBC. In 2001, the park was officially named as a nature reserve. This status guards the area from being destroyed or altered in any way.
The fish in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve have increased since the park received nature reserve status since fishing is no longer allowed. There are Archer Fish, Halfbeak, and Mullet. The high and low tides affect the crabs, mudskippers, and mud lobsters that can be found close to the shore. Saltwater crocodiles can sometimes be found as well. It is not known whether these came from Malaysia or Indonesia since they were supposedly extinct in Singapore. The largest species of moth, the Atlas Moth, can also be seen in the reserve. Many species of birds can also be found because they feed on the flora and fauna in the surrounding area. Some of the birds that can be seen are Marsh Sandpiper, Mongolian Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Common Greenshank, Whimbrel, and others.
Each year, from September to March, migratory shorebirds and waders such as plovers and sandpipers can be seen at the reserve. Visitors to the reserve may take free guided tours, and there are longer paid guided tours as well. The paid tours last for around one hour. It is also possible to hire Certified Nature Guides who will take you to areas throughout the reserve. If there is a particular migratory bird or other wildlife that a visitor want to see, they are familiar with all areas of the park and are able to point out unique and interesting sights to visitors. There are marine fish tours, mangrove tours, and prawn watch sessions also available. The reserve is very large with over 200 acres and over 150 species of rare and exotic birds to see. Visitors find interesting animals in every area of the reserve.
Many visitors have been surprised at how the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve has retained much of the natural habitat and has not commercialized the reserve much at all. The mangrove forest is one of the favorite spots for tourists since many birds and other wildlife can be seen in this area. The temperature in Singapore gets very hot and humid in the afternoon, so visitors often prefer to spend the morning at the reserve. Those who have been there suggest that tourists wear comfortable walking shoes and bring mosquito repellent since the wetness of the area draws mosquitos to the area. A favorite form of wildlife that is often noticed is the giant lizard that makes its habitat in the reserve.
Tourists are able to get to the reserve by taxi, and there is a bus that runs from the city to Sungei Buloh on the weekends. The reserve is not far from the modern city, and the contrast of the natural surroundings of the reserve with the modern city is very noticeable. The price for entering the reserve is very low for both children and adults. Older children can enjoy organized nature activities designed specifically for their age group, but preschool age children and babies may frighten away many species of birds and wildlife. The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is definitely a worthwhile venture for the visitor to Singapore.