“We are very excited by the concepts that are beginning to take shape in Mandai. We are committed to conserving and nurturing Singapore’s natural heritage, so that it can be enjoyed and loved by generations to come. We will create a series of immersive nature and wildlife experiences for all to cherish,” said Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairman at MPH.
Five parks, one destination
Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari will be joined by two new cousins, the new Bird Park and the Rainforest Park, creating an integrated nature and wildlife experience for all visitors to Mandai.
The new Bird Park will house one of the world’s largest collections of birds. It will be a place of colour and joy, themed around nine large immersive aviaries with different landscapes from around the world, including wetlands, bamboo forests and rainforests. Visitors will be treated to free-flying birds displaying natural behaviours in a setting designed to replicate their native habitats.
Some of the best-loved features in Jurong Bird Park will be reimagined in the new park. These include a magnificent new waterfall, a grand entrance to the park framed by colourful flowering plants and a custom-designed amphitheatre to feature bird performances.
The new Bird Park will be a leader in bird conservation, featuring a full-fledged breeding and research facility for the captive propagation of critically endangered species from all over the world, with special emphasis on Southeast Asian species such as the Bali Mynah, the Black-winged Starling and the Blue-crowned Laughingthrush amongst many others.
Over at the Rainforest Park, visitors will be fully immersed in the sights and sounds of the tropical rainforest of Southeast Asia. They will be invited to set out on an exciting, multi-layered adventure, meandering through forest floor pathways to the treetop canopies. The park will reveal many secrets of the tropical rainforest, which represents the Earth’s major reservoir of terrestrial biodiversity.
The conservation impact of the five wildlife parks will extend far beyond Mandai through staff involvement in field conservation projects to protect threatened species in their native habitats, both in Singapore and across the region.
A place for leisure and family time
Besides immersing in the wildlife experience, Singaporeans will enjoy free access to an attractive series of open spaces right in the heart of Mandai. There will be something for everyone, including beautiful gardens, spacious boardwalks, waterways and playgrounds.
The new Mandai nature precinct is designed to be in harmony with nature. For example, animals living in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve will benefit from an eco-bridge spanning the breadth of Mandai Lake Road as they move between the central and northern reaches of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
Situated outside of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, the two new wildlife parks will be developed on previously occupied and impacted land, and stringent environmental protection measures will be put in place to minimise any potential impact on the flora and fauna in the area.
At the heart of the Mandai nature precinct will be an indoor nature-themed education centre focusing on Conservation, Research and Education (CRE). It will be a centre of fun and learning, featuring exhibitions aimed at raising awareness and appreciation for the region’s biodiversity and natural heritage. In response to public feedback, MPH will also be expanding its current accommodation options to allow nature enthusiasts and families to extend their stay in Mandai.
“We want to give Singaporeans a nature and wildlife destination that they can call their own. Visitors have asked for more novel, engaging and immersive experiences and we hope the new Mandai nature precinct will provide all that and more. We are also mindful of the need to provide appealing public spaces so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of the Mandai nature precinct,” said Mike Barclay, Group CEO of MPH.
“Our vision is to create an integrated nature and wildlife destination, nestled within our bustling city for all Singaporeans and tourists to enjoy. Generations of Singaporeans have grown up with Jurong Bird Park and the wildlife parks in Mandai. This project provides an opportunity for renewal, and to deepen our collective affinity with the nature and wildlife of our region.”
MPH continues to take in suggestions from the public on the rejuvenation of Mandai. For example, in response to feedback to make it easier to reach Mandai, MPH is exploring a range of options with the Government to improve accessibility to Mandai. These include introducing shuttle buses from the upcoming Springleaf MRT station and direct bus services from key regions that are otherwise not well-connected to Mandai. Those who are interested to comment on or provide suggestions about the Mandai development can visit http://www.mandai.com for more details.
Subject to the required approvals, the new developments at Mandai will be completed in phases from 2020 onwards.
About Mandai Park Holdings (MPH)
MPH is driving the rejuvenation of Mandai into an integrated nature and wildlife destination. MPH also oversees the business and strategic development of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), the operator of Singapore’s award-winning Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. For more details about the proposed concept for the rejuvenation of Mandai, please visit www.mandai.com.
About Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS)
Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is the holding company of the award-winning attractions Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. WRS is dedicated to the management of world-class leisure attractions that foster conservation and research while educating visitors about animals and their habitats. A self-funded organisation, WRS also collaborates with various partners, organisations and institutions aimed at protecting local and global biodiversity.
What is the new Mandai Nature Precinct?
The new Mandai nature precinct will be an integrated nature and wildlife destination. Subject to the required government approvals, the Mandai nature precinct will expand beyond its existing three park offerings (the Singapore Zoo, the River Safari and the Night Safari) to be home to two new wildlife parks, an indoor nature-themed education centre, accommodation options and inviting public spaces that will be freely accessible to the public.
The rejuvenated Mandai nature precinct will have a strong focus on promoting wildlife conservation and education, and will allow Singaporeans to enjoy what nature has to offer.
Where will the new Bird Park and Rainforest Park be located?
The new Bird Park and Rainforest Park will be built on land which has been identified for eco-tourism development by the government since 2007. The land for the proposed development has been previously impacted by settlements and farms, including the former Mandai Orchid Garden that closed its operations in December 2010.
The proposed development will be situated outside of the Mindef training areas and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR). The proposed development will not encroach on the CCNR. In addition, we are looking at provisions for buffer zones between the proposed development area and the CCNR. We will also be rehabilitating and reforesting the impacted areas within the development site to create an immersive nature experience.
When will the project be completed?
Work will only begin on the site once all government approvals have been received. Assuming we begin construction at the end of this year or early next year, we hope to work towards phase 1 opening by the end of 2020.
Why do we need a new bird park? And what will happen to the animals at Jurong Bird Park?
While we continue to invest in exhibits and the bird collection of the Jurong Bird Park, the park infrastructure is due for an extensive overhaul in the next 5-10 years. It is thus timely to create a new bird park at Mandai and cluster it together with our other wildlife parks for guest convenience and to better integrate our conservation, research and education efforts.
After we have received the necessary approvals to proceed with the project, the collection of birds will be moved to the new Bird Park in Mandai. We regularly move birds and have good expertise in this area.
It is exciting that the new Bird Park will house one of world’s largest collections of birds, but how do we prevent the birds from escaping?
We value every single bird that will be on displayed in the new Bird Park. It is our interest to ensure that none of the birds escape. We are exploring a multi-barrier approach to prevent birds from escaping. The approach include applying smart design concepts to our aviary entrances and exits, as well as technologies that constantly monitor the integrity of the aviary mesh and the daily monitoring of birds in each aviary.
Did MPH conduct an EIA?
Working with NUS as an independent advisor, we have commissioned an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the development last year so that important mitigation measures and design improvements could be undertaken at an early stage. We have determined a robust framework for our EIA and are actively working with various stakeholders, including nature groups and government agencies, to ensure we conduct an independent and professional assessment of possible impacts.
Significant revisions have been made to the masterplan as a result of the EIA process and our engagement with the nature groups. This is part of the on-going process where we continue to refine our plans and designs based on the findings and recommendations of the EIA and discussions with our stakeholders. For example, we agreed to swap the locations for the new Rainforest Park and the new Bird Park to be more in tune with the existing tree canopy on the development site.
We are still soliciting feedback from nature groups and government agencies on the draft EIA report. We expect to release the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) soon.
We will be seeking public feedback after gazetting the EIA, which we will make readily available online and on-site at Mandai. We will also continue to engage the nature groups as the project progresses.