Shorebirds at Chek Jawa, Singapore

on 10th February 2019

The number of shorebirds sighted at Chek Jawa is impressive. “I may not be able to identify all the birds but it still is an enjoyable experience seeing them despite being under the hot sun with the wind blowing on us and our cameras shaking like mad,” so says MeiLin Khoo, who dreams that one day an extended bridge/broadwalk will be built to allow nature lovers be closer to the spectacular displays by these swarning birds.

Chek Jawa’s rich marine biodiversity is sited at the eastern shore of the offshore island of Pulau Ubin LINK.

The area was slated for reclamation and the Nature Society (Singapore), then at the forefront of the local nature conservation scene, gave up hope of saving the area. However, individuals like Joseph Lai, N. Sivasothi and Ria Tan came forward to publicise the uniqueness of the area. This caught the imagination of the public and hundreds visited the site PDF. This in turn caught the attention of the then National Development Minister, Mr. Mah Bow Tan, who visited the area, was visibly impressed and belatedly announced a reprieve for Chek Jawa.

MeiLin Khoo
3rd February 2019

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour through photography and videography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

One Response

  1. Just wanted to mention that the large numbers of shorebirds were more than the usual and lasted only for a day or two. They were probably either on passage, passing through, or displaced from another nearby feeding area (perhaps by reclamation activity).

    I also wanted to comment that while many of us would like to be closer to such spectacles, it is for the very reason that we are not that such spectacles occur, as wild animals are sensitive and should be given sufficient space from us observers.

    An extension of the boardwalk is a really bad idea as it is crucial to have a protion of Chek Jawa left alone and away from the crowds and noise, so that wildlife can forage in peace. Besides, Chek Jawa is about the entire natural area of 7 or so habitats and all their inhabitants….not just the birds!

    Decisions on how to balance between the needs of the wildlife and the enjoyment of the visitors was carefully considered by NParks with feedback from nature groups, before the current boardwalk was built.

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