Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is Singapore’s first protected wetland reserve and covers an area of 130 hectares.

By ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Story by NParks Singapore. With photographs contributed by Khairi Kamisan, David Li, Deneshia Aw Yong, Tan Yee Tien, Wang Chu Wei, Hawa Balquis

The reserve consists of mudflats, mangroves and freshwater ponds, and is a site of international importance for migratory shorebirds.

In 2003, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve was recognised as an ASEAN Heritage Park (AHP).

Rhizophora apiculata by David LiASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

An extensive mangrove forest

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve has the most extensive mangrove forest on mainland Singapore. 

Bruguiera gymnorhiza by Deneshia Aw YongASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

An extensive mangrove forest

True mangrove species such as the Rhizophora apiculata and Bruguiera gymnorhiza can be found in these protected forests.

Banded Archerfish (Toxotes jaculatrix), Tan Yee Tien, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Mangrove Pit Viper (Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus), Tan Yee Tien, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Tree-climbing Crab (Episesarma sp.), Tan Yee Tien, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris), Tan Yee Tien, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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A Sanctuary for Animals

The mangroves provide humans and animals with shelter and food. Animals such as the Spot-tailed Needlefish, Tree-climbing Crab, Collared Kingfisher, Mangrove Pit Viper, and Long-tailed Macaque call this place home.

Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Zaw Min Tun, 2020, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, 2013, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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A Sanctuary for Animals

Estuarine Crocodiles can also be spotted swimming through the brackish rivers or basking on the banks during low tide. And if one is lucky enough, they may encounter a group of Smooth-coated Otters speeding through the water!

Striated Heron (Butorides striata) by Tan Yee TienASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Mudflats for Life

A large mudflat extends from the mangrove forest, providing food for resident and migratory waterbirds. Mangrove Horseshoe Crabs and Giant Mudskippers can also sometimes be seen moving along these mudflats at low tide.

Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps) by Tan Yee TienASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Birds of the Forests

Going further inland, the mangrove forest gives way to secondary forests. 

Straw-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus) by David LiASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Birds of the Forests

Songbirds such as the Ashy Tailorbird and the endangered Straw-headed Bulbul can be heard singing in the mornings, and the Oriental Pied Hornbill can be occasionally spotted foraging for food in the treetops.

Hornbill on a branch in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (2018) by Pamela Q. RebloraASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Can you see it?

Common Redshanks (Tringa tetanus) by David LiASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Migratory Season

During the migratory season from August to April, the nature reserve plays host to hundreds of shorebirds. From Common Redshanks to Whimbrels, these shorebirds travel here to avoid the cold winter up north.

Numenius phaeopus in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve by David LiASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Migratory Season

During the migratory season from August to April, the nature reserve plays host to hundreds of shorebirds. From Common Redshanks to Whimbrels, these shorebirds travel here to avoid the cold winter up north.

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) by David LiASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Migratory Season

The shorebirds find a haven in what were previously prawn ponds.

Group of waterbirds by David LiASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Migratory Season

These ponds are regulated through sluice gates and water levels are kept low during high tide, creating a place for the shorebirds to feed and rest after their long travels when mudflats along the coasts are submerged.

More to Discover

The species mentioned earlier are just a small percentage of the flora and fauna that can be found here. Come and visit to discover the rich biodiversity of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Bruguiera cylindrica, Deneshia Aw Yong, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Golden Orb Spider (Nephila pilipes), Wang Chu Wei, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Ideopsis vulgaris, Hawa Balqis, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Orthetrum sabina, Khairi Kamisan, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Malayan Water Monitor (Varanus salvator), Pamela Q. Reblora, 2018, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus), Wang Chu Wei, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), David Li, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), Tan Yee Tien, From the collection of: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
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Come explore Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve through this Virtual Tour

SBWR Virtual Tour by NParksASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) by Tan Yee TienASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Enjoy nature trails

If you would like to learn more about Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, please visit www.nparks.gov.sg/sbwr


Planning a visit? Write to us at nparks_sbwr@nparks.gov.sg

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National Parks Board SingaporeASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

AHP logo by ACBASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

ASEAN Heritage Parks

ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHPs) are protected areas of high conservation importance that provide valuable contributions to safeguarding ecosystems and biodiversity. 

AHPs provide a window to the world, showcasing a wealth of biodiversity that is uniquely ASEAN.

Credits: Story

Story by National Parks Board (Singapore)

With photographs contributed by Khairi Kamisan, David Li, Deneshia Aw Yong, Tan Yee Tien, Wang Chu Wei, Hawa Balquis, and Elliott James Ong.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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