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guide to the mangroves of singapore
Mangroves in Singapore to visit
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
  Pasir Ris Park
1 deg 22' 52.8" N, 103 deg 57' 7.2Z" E

At the North-eastern part of Singapore Island, Pasir Ris Park is dissected into three parts by the rivers, Sungei Api Api and Sungei Tampines. Work on this 70.52 hectare park began in 1988 on land reclaimed between 1978 to 1979. Pasir Ris Park can be reached by Elias Road, off Pasir Ris Drive 3 (take the Singapore Bus Service [SBS] bus service nos. 6, 12, 15, 17, 21, 350, 351, 352, 353, 355, 356 or 403 to the Pasir Ris Bus Interchange, or the Mass Rapid Transit System to the Pasir Ris MRT Station). Map to the park.
view of skyline at sungei api api forest
Urban areas are never
far away - residential flats
form part of the skyline
of the Sungei Api-Api forest
A 5-hectare patch of mature mangrove forest was preserved during reclamation and development by maintaining tidal inundation—rivulet was dug to connect the patch with Sungei Tampines. An additional one hectare of levelled vacant ground was also subjected to the inundation in 1989.

The park, administered by the National Parks Board, is mostly for recreation with lawns and planted ornamental trees, a tower, various landscaped features, besides the mangrove area which has boardwalks and educational sign boards to describe the biology of mangrove organisms.

Pasir Ris is Malay for 'beach bolt-rope', implying a narrow beach. The park is open 24 hrs, and there is no entrance fee. Bicycle rental is available at the park. Visitors can spend half a day travelling around wooden walkways, which reduce damage to the substrate and allow you a close but comfortable look at the forest without getting you muddy.

The bulk of the mangrove area is a mature community with textbook features, especially the diverse number of tree species, unlike the managed mangrove forests in Malaysia where only a few commercially valuable species are found. The mangroves consist of the more common species such as trees of Avicennia alba, A. officinalis and A. rumphiana, Bruguiera cylindrica, B. gymnorhiza, Ceriops tagal, Rhizophora apiculata, R. mucronata, Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea, the ferns Acrostichum aureum, A. speciosum, and the shrubs Acanthus ebracteatus, and A. ilicifolius amongst others. (for a full list). It also has rarer species such Aegiceras corniculatum, Bruguiera parviflora and Rhizophora stylosa, which are all considered endangered locally.

You can observe mudskippers grazing, and displaying their territorial and mating behaviour in the canals that drain through the park during low tide. Fiddler crabs can be seen easily at the sandy areas at the eastern-most edge.

This mangrove patch is under constant threat of having the salinity of the soil flushed out. The more aggressive freshwater species will invade the patch once the salinity declines so the tidal inundation is imperative for its maintenance. Most mangrove species can cope with freshwater but cannot compete with freshwater species in a primarily freshwater environment.

For more on how to prepare for a visit to mangroves.
What is mangrove?

The Ecosystem


Indirect uses
Potential uses

About Mangroves
in Singapore

Mangroves to visit
From "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore", Peter K. L. Ng and N. Sivasothi (editors)
Volume 1: The Ecosystem and Plant Diversity and Volume 2: Animal Diversity
Authors: Kelvin K. P. Lim, Dennis H. Murphy, T. Morgany, N. Sivasothi, Peter K. L. Ng,
B. C. Soong, Hugh T. W. Tan, K. S. Tan & T. K. Tan
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre, sponsored by British Petroleum
2001 Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre