Get Involved

Get Involved

With all the problems animals are facing today, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and think that you cannot make a difference. But never underestimate the power of one person and a group of people who are passionate about making a change in the world. There are some very simple ways in which you can help, whether as an individual or as a group.

So here is how You Can Help

Visit our Parks and learn about nature and wildlife.

Take your family and friends, or go exploring by yourself, to the nature reserves and park gardens in your neighborhood. When you start looking out for birds, bees, butterflies, lizards, you’ll be surprised what you find, even in the middle of a big city such as Singapore. House geckoes (‘cicak’) are commonly seen in Singapore buildings – they are harmless to humans and are extremely important to us as they keep our insect numbers down. Share your love for animals with people around you.

Remember, admire animals from afar. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone.

Be a responsible consumer and think about what you buy.

Colugo with baby

Attract butterflies, other insects, birds, and even bats with planting flowering plants and fruit trees. Even if you have no backyard, you can keep these plants in pots on your balcony! Plants also help keep our air cleaner and make our earth greener, no matter how big or small they are.

Olive-backed Sunbird on a banana flower

Don’t let your friends buy anything made from endangered animal parts or animals that are treated cruelly. Examples are sharks fin, ivory, tiger claws, and snake wine. Even traditional Chinese medicine that use endangered animal parts are unnecessary as there as synthetic alternatives that have been proven to be medically beneficial. Don’t keep wildlife as pets as they belong in the wild and are usually difficult to keep alive.

Ivory confiscated by TRAFFIC Southeast Asia [©TRAFFIC]

If everyone around the world started using less, the positive impact on natural habitat and wildlife could be huge.

The greatest threat to animals is habitat loss, and they are losing their homes because of our needs and wants. Our handphones are made using minerals from the ground, our paper from trees in the forest, our plastic containers from oil in the seas. These habitats are destroyed and pollution is created to make what we want.

If you and I need and want fewer things, then fewer new things will need to be made, and more habitat will be left for our animals. Next time you buy something, think about whether you really need it, or whether you can re-use something you already have. Think about what habitat was taken away to make what you’re about to buy. For example, if the newer version of your handphone has just come out, stop and think before you buy it. Do you really need a new handphone, or can you keep the one you already have? What habitat was damaged to find the minerals for your new handphone? What happens to your old handphone when you throw it away?

Be a responsible consumer and think about what you buy.

We have all heard of the 3 Rs. We can a significant change as an individual if we try and incorporate all the 6 Rs into our daily life.

REDUCE what we use
this will reduce the demand for things made from new materials

REUSE what you have already
Share your unwanted items with family and friends
Get creative and convert them into something useful to you
If something is broken take the effort to repair it or have it fixed instead of throwing it away and buying a new one

Put your glass, paper, plastic, metals into the appropriate recycling bins. The amount used to produce one new item from raw materials is significantly greater than the recycling of that item.

Next time you go shopping, politely refuse plastic bags! You’ll be amazed how many plastic bags you save.
If you’re at an event, refuse plastic bottles. Bring your own water bottle with you and fill up wherever you go.
Don’t use a material or buy a product if you don’t need it or if it’s bad for people or the environment.

Be watchful and look to use items made from renewable materials. Many of the products we use daily use materials that are in scarce supply and are non-renewable.
Explore renewable energy sources and use them whenever possible. You could also talk to your local authorities and make them aware that you are keen to use renewable energy.

Respect the environment
Remember that we are dependent on our environment for our lives, the air we breathe, water we drink all are from nature. We must learn to respect and value our environment.
Explore renewable energy sources and use them whenever possible. You could also talk to your local authorities and make them aware that you are keen to use renewable energy.

Blocks of compressed cans (top) and plastic bottles (bottom) to be recycled.

If you must buy something new, remember to buy a product made from sustainable sources. Sustainable sources mean that resources are taken in a way that ensures they can be replenished naturally and have a smaller environmental impact.

Sustainable produce can include Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish which have been caught using sustainable fishing practices, palm oil products sourced from Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified plantations, products from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, which are grown and harvested using environmentally and socially responsible practices, paper made from Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) certified pulp, and many other products sourced from sustainable sources. The list can go on and on! Be conscious of your choices when you buy.

Look for these logos at the shops. Ask for them if you do not see any. Buying products with them means that you are helping the environment. Every small action you take contributes towards big changes!

These are just a few ideas on how you can live green and help our animals. There are plenty of other ways and opportunities for you to become more eco-friendly.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore is committed to sharing its expertise and knowledge on the subject of wildlife management. The professional training arm offers professional training courses to external parties on an ad-hoc basis. These courses are targeted at adult professionals working in Singapore and the region. Course fees are redirected into wildlife conservation projects. Training has been conducted for government agencies, non-government organisations, and private companies. Training sessions range from one hour lectures to full day courses.

Topics include:

• What is wildlife conservation?
• Role of modern zoos in conservation: examples from Wildlife Reserves Singapore
• Identification and handling of commonly encountered reptiles (including snakes) in Singapore
• Diseases that can be transferred between wildlife and humans (zoonoses)
• Management of local wildlife

Top: Dr. Sonja Luz teaching snake identification.
Bottom: Participants of training session.

  • Contribute a gift to wildlife and donate to these animals in need!
  • Adopt an animal at the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari, or Jurong Bird Park.
  • Become a generous corporate sponsor.

Why do we all need to be concerned?

Many animals are facing threats that are causing their decline in the wild, and these threats are similar across the world. These threats are anthropogenic and linked to our need for development.

Habitat loss or degradation

Wildlife trade

Unsustainable living

Habitat loss or degradation

Without a doubt, habitat loss is the single greatest threat facing wildlife today. This means the habitat where animals are living are being cleared or degraded – these habitats could include forest, rivers, oceans, mangroves, even urban parks. Wildlife is impacted by direct killing during clearing, having their homes damaged through pollution and littering, or being pushed out because there is no more food or shelter.

In Southeast Asia, habitats are being destroyed by humans for:

  • Agriculture
  • Logging
  • Commercial plantations such as Oil palm, Rubber or pulp wood
  • Urbanisation
  • Infrastucture development such as road, rail etc.
  • Trawling
  • Mining

All of these are directly related to the consumption behavior of humans. We need plastic from oil (for our bags and containers), paper from trees (for writing, printing on, toilet paper), metal from mining the land (for our handphones and electronics), palm oil (for our snacks and toiletries), land for our new houses, and the list goes on and on.

In Singapore, the already limited forested areas are being developed for an expanding population. Human development is necessary and important, however it can be done with minimal impact to the environment and wildlife. This sustainable development is the need of the hour.

Wildlife Trade

Second only to habitat loss, poaching is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest threats to its wildlife. Poaching is the illegal removal of plants or animals from the wild. In Southeast Asia, this takes place mostly for traditional medicine and the illegal pet trade, with some illegal and unsustainable practices taking place for bush-meat consumption.

The use of animal parts in traditional medicine is a highly contested topic. The problem is that animals are being taken from the wild in sheer numbers unimaginable to us, and this could have far-ranging and irreversible impacts to wildlife. Furthermore, once taken from the wild the animals are often treated very badly. In some cases, the use of animal parts for traditional medicine have not even been proven to work. But in all cases, synthetic substitutes are readily available and have been proven to be effective in their medicinal value.

Unsustainable living

We cannot really imagine leading our lives today without any electricity. All around the world majority of the electricity is sourced from traditional energy sources like coal and oil. The mining for extraction of these raw materials from the ground causes habitat destruction. In addition, burning of these energy sources contributes to global warming or climate change. Global warming is now considered one of the biggest threats facing all wildlife, including humans, as its impacts are now being felt world over. Climate change refers to the change in temperature, rainfall, and natural disaster events that are taking place around the world. We all contribute to global warming through our demanding lifestyles and the use of our electronics like handphones, air-conditioning, lighting; through burning fuel for travel like cars and aeroplanes; and through burning fuel for running factories that manufacture products for our consumption.

There are a multitude of other threats impacting our beautiful wildlife in Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world. Pollution can be in the form of air, water, and soil pollution, which impacts the health of ecosystems, and therefore the existence of animals in that ecosystem. Over-fishing impacts fish-eating species such as pelican and seals, while the invasion of non-native species often means local species are out-competed and lose their place in their natural environment.