Wildlife affected by excessive development

Straits Times Forum 23 Jul 12;

IN THE heartland area between Bukit Batok Road and the Kranji Expressway, opposite Bukit Batok West avenues 2 and 7, a large portion of the land belonging to the military has been slated for development by the Urban Redevelopment Authority master plan ('Preserving Singapore's green heartland'; July 14).

Already, the area opposite Brickland Road along the canal - the former Keat Hong camp - has been flattened for Tengah Build-to-Order flats.

Also, the woodland area opposite Teck Whye Avenue and the HDB estate has suffered a loss of greenery because of the construction of the Hillvista condominium.

I moved into the neighbouring estate 12 years ago for the greenery, which has been reduced over the years.

I have kept my eyes open for butterflies all these years and have noticed the disappearance of particular species around the area. What used to be common has become rather uncommon, and the rare ones are probably extinct in the area, such as the Jungle Glory butterfly, Thaumantis noreddin, which is now considered extinct on the main island.

I am speaking only of the butterflies, but this is indicative of the adverse impact of the clearance of woodlands on the biodiversity of the area.

Will the authorities consider the biodiversity involved, given that the area slated for development is a rather large piece of land? Clearing it could affect weather patterns in the west area (known for more rainfall), and give rise to flooding. And what about the birds, butterflies and other wildlife inhabiting or visiting the area en route perhaps to green areas elsewhere?

Steven Chong