Another deer accident calls into question the effectiveness wildlife protection measures in Mandai

There was another deer related incident this year, this time along Mandai Road on Tuesday when a motorcyclist collided with a wiled sambar deer. The motorcyclist suffered multiple abrasions but refused to be taken to the hospital while the deer did not survive.

Deputy CEO of the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres) Mr Kalai Vanan said thhat they had received a call about the incident at around 8pm but as the deer was already dead, the case was handed over to the National Environment Agency (NEA) instead to dispose the carcass.

On the presence of the deer on Mandai Road, Mr Kalai said that “Mandai Road has forested areas on both sides. Sometimes, when the deer crosses the road, this can happen.”

This is the third deer related incident this year. In February, a deer was hit by a vehicle in Mandai Road while in June, a deer wandered onto the Bukit Timah Expressway causing a three-vehicle accident.

In light of these accidents, some people have suggested putting up fences by the road to prevent more animals wandering into oncoming traffic:

While others are calling for more active action to be taken to protect remaining wildlife in the area. Netizens have also commented that part of the reason for the increase in wildlife ending up as road kill is the diminishing natural habitat of these animals in favour of development near Mandai:

Currently, there is ongoing development in the area by Mandai Park Holdings (MPH), a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings and parent company of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS). The current masterplan for development in Mandai by MPH includes the relocation of Jurong Bird Park the area where it will be expanded. The plan also includes the development a new rainforest parl outside the Safari Park’s existing boundary.

Early in 2016, MPH released an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which concluded that ‘the majority of impacts can be reduced to a residual impact magnitude of small or below’. However, Nature Society Singapore (NSS) disagrees with that assessment. In their own position paper regarding MPS’s Mandai development plan, NSS’s own analysis found that the development would result in the magnitude of loss of forest habitat being about 70-80%, which is extremely large and contrary to what the EIA described.

This in turn will significantly impact the displacement of fauna in the area. NSS stated in their report that at least 32% of species in the area are restricted to a particular habitat-type, which means the removal of that habitat is of great concern. They will have nowhere else to go, resulting in an increase of wild animals ending up as victims of road accidents.

The NSS concluded by urging MPH to consider their alternative proposals to mitigate the impact of their development on wildlife in the area.

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