Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Expect superb views, diverse wildlife at new Bird Park

Source Website: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/expect-superb-views-diverse-wildlife-new-bird-park
By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, 17 January 2017 at 06:00 am


Details revealed about new Bird Park and Rainforest Park as construction phase is launched.
PHOTO: Details revealed about new Bird Park and Rainforest Park as construction phase is launched. In about three years, birdwatchers can enjoy watching feathered fowl from the rainforests of Africa, the flooded savannahs of South and Central America and the Australian bushland, all in Singapore.
Artist's impression of wetlands in the Mandai Park project. (Image: Mandai Park Holdings)
Picture posted by Monica Kotwani, Channel NewsAsia on 16 January 2017 at 11:15
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In about three years, birdwatchers can enjoy watching feathered fowl from the rainforests of Africa, the flooded savannahs of South and Central America and the Australian bushland, all in Singapore.

They need only to pay a visit to the new Bird Park in Mandai, when the park, relocated from its current premises in Jurong, opens its doors to the public.

The new park will allow visitors to be immersed in multiple landscapes and vegetation so that they can see the birds just as they would in the wild. The birds will also be flying freely in large aviaries within the new park, a move that will heighten the experience for visitors.



Masterplan of the Mandai rejuvenation project. (Image: Mandai Park Holdings)
PHOTO: Masterplan of the Mandai rejuvenation project. (Image: Mandai Park Holdings)
Picture by TNP Graphics
Posted by Audrey Tan,, The Straits Times, 17 January 2017 at 06:00 am

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http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/expect-superb-views-diverse-wildlife-new-bird-park



HORNBILLS & PARROTS
Colourful birds of paradise, orange-beaked hornbills and vocal parrots are some of the birds that will be part of the avian collection, which is one of the most significant to date.

These details were given by developer Mandai Park Holdings yesterday during a ceremony to celebrate the start of the development work on the hub of the five wildlife parks it is building in leafy Mandai.

Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), was the guest of honour.

The Bird Park, as well as a new Rainforest Park, will join the existing trio of attractions there - the Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari.



Masterplan of the Mandai rejuvenation project. (Image: Mandai Park Holdings)
PHOTO: Masterplan of the Mandai rejuvenation project. (Image: Mandai Park Holdings)
The Mandai rejuvenation project will see the relocation of Jurong Bird Park and the development of a new Rainforest Park in the same area as the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari. Currently, the four parks attract about 4.6 million visitors each year.
Posted by Monica Kotwani, Channel NewsAsia on 16 January 2017 at 11:15
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The hub, which will also include accommodation options, is expected to fully commence operations by 2023, with earlier phases, including the opening of the Bird Park, to be done by 2020.

The Bird Park, Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari offer visitors the experience of walking through habitats from all over the world. But at the Rainforest Park, the focus will be on South-east Asian biodiversity.

Animals that live in rainforests - from below the ground to the tree canopies - will have their time in the spotlight.

The park will take visitors on a journey from an underground cavern to boardwalks at the ground level and up ramps to aerial walkways that reach the tree canopies, where they can interact with arboreal apes.

There will also be trekking and adventure activities at the new park.

"We plan to offer highly differentiated experiences at each of our five wildlife parks, augmented by indoor displays and a variety of food and beverage offerings," said Mr Mike Barclay, chief executive of Mandai Park Holdings.



One of the key attractions at the new Bird Park will be an underwater and 'overwater' habitat for sub-Antarctic penguins.
PHOTO: One of the key attractions at the new Bird Park will be an underwater and "overwater" habitat for sub-Antarctic penguins. The developer said it would provide visitors a "fly with the penguins" experience - one that creates the impression of penguins "flying" through the water.
Artist's impression of the penguin tank. (Image: Mandai Park Holdings)
Posted by Monica Kotwani, Channel NewsAsia on 16 January 2017 at 11:15

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The massive Mandai makeover will include public spaces, such as green landscaped decks for picnics and boardwalks along the edge of Upper Seletar Reservoir, which can be used by the public free of charge.

These plans, as well as the results from an Environmental Impact Assessment, have been approved by the Government.

"Reviews and discussions on Mandai's rejuvenation have been going on for several years with various stakeholders. With the necessary government approvals now obtained, we are delighted to mark this milestones with our partners today," said Mandai Park Holdings chairman S. Dhanabalan.

The Mandai area sits right outside the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, and nature groups had voiced concerns that development works could negatively impact the wildlife.



SUSTAINABILITY THE KEY GUIDELINE
PHOTO: SUSTAINABILITY THE KEY GUIDELINE
Visitors to the new Bird Park and the Rainforest Park will arrive from the precinct's west entrance - one of the two "arrival nodes" to the precinct.
The other entrance - from the east - will provide access to nature-themed indoor attractions, as well as the zoo, the Night Safari and River Safari. It will also house accommodation options.
The entrances will be connected by walking trails and boardwalks along Upper Seletar Reservoir.
The separate entry points were created to reduce the impact of visitors passing through a single entrance next to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
Mr Barclay
, Mandai Park Holdings’ chief executive officer said a key guideline for the massive development is sustainability and the idea is to look at using the right materials and harvesting new energy sources.
If you have a waterfall, it creates a lot of energy. Can we harvest that energy and put it back in to offset the energy being used to power the pumps? We have lots of opportunities for solar power as well within the parks,” he said.
Artist's impression of the view from inside a waterfall in the park. (Image: Mandai Park Holdings)
Posted by Monica Kotwani, Channel NewsAsia on 16 January 2017 at 11:15
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But Mandai Park Holdings stressed that the development will be done sensitively. For one, the development will take place on degraded land.

It also voluntarily commissioned an Environment Impact Assessment, following which changes were made to development plans.

One of the most significant is the swopping of locations of the new Rainforest Park and Bird Park - this puts the bulk of the Rainforest Park to the north, instead of the south of Mandai Lake Road, where there are more mature trees that can be incorporated into the park.

It also agreed to have a vegetated buffer area between the park boundaries and the nature reserve, ensuring that the development will not go right up to the fringes of the reserve.



NEW RAINFOREST PARK
PHOTO: NEW RAINFOREST PARK
Another highlight, the Rainforest Park, will take visitors through the biodiversity found in Southeast Asian foliage, and allow them to see the trees from recreated caverns, a boardwalk and an aerial walkway.

You could be at the tree-top level with the orangutans climbing the trees around you. I think it’s a very exciting concept and that’s why we want the different layering of the parks,” said Mr Barclay, Mandai Park Holdings’ chief executive officer.

The Rainforest Park is expected to be ready by the end of 2021, earlier than the 2023 completion date previously announced.
Artist's impression of the Rainforest Walk. (Image: Mandai Park Holdings)
Posted by Monica Kotwani, Channel NewsAsia on 16 January 2017 at 11:15

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By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, 17 January 2017 at 06:00 am



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