SINGAPORE – The ubiquitous rock pigeon is an invasive species and feeding it can attract other pests like rats, National Parks Board (NParks) wildlife management group director Dr Adrian Loo said.
Their excreta in living spaces and public facilities are troublesome and can also transmit diseases to people with low immunity.
In order to reduce the number of pigeons in Singapore, NParks worked with other government agencies and four city councils to pilot a pigeon management plan that resulted in a 25% drop in the number of public complaints.
These efforts were recognized at this year’s municipal service awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 17.
The awards are intended to commend interagency efforts to find effective solutions to public problems and to officers who put residents first in the delivery of municipal services, the Office of Municipal Services (MSO) said.
Senior Minister of State for the Department of National Development Sim Ann was present at the virtual awards ceremony.
She said the Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly changed the way Singaporeans live, increasing the time spent at home and raising awareness among citizens of the state of their living environment.
She said it was also more difficult for public agencies and officials to deliver public services to the same standards as before, adding: “Let me say a very big thank you to all who help ensure the the safety of Singaporeans and to ensure that our services run smoothly. “
The pigeon management plan was one of 20 winners from a pool of 90 nominated projects.
Hot spots for pigeons have been identified in areas under the municipal councils of Bishan-Toa Payoh, Jalan Besar, Pasir Ris-Punggol and Tanjong Pagar.
Since a study by NParks found that around 70% of the food consumed by wild pigeons comes from humans, the program focused on preventing people from feeding them, Dr Loo said. , talking to regular feeders and putting up information boards explaining the dangers of feeding pigeons.
Habitat modification work has also been done to reduce pigeon breeding sites, for example by installing netting in nooks and crevices to prevent pigeons from nesting.
Other winning projects included a new bridge over the Pang Sua Canal connecting Woodlands Road and Choa Chu Kang Park by NParks, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), PUB and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, as well as the installation of Two-story bicycle racks in housing The areas of the board to cope with an increased demand for safe parking for bicycles.
An initiative led by LTA to improve the safety of children walking to school was also recognized.
Students were recommended routes where they could cross roads safely or avoid heavy traffic areas. LTA and HDB have also made infrastructure improvements along the roads where necessary.
Called Safe Route to School, it was tested at three schools – CHIJ St Nicholas Girls, Pasir Ris Primary and Concord Primary – in January 2020.
The 5th and 6th grade pupils of Pasir Ris Primary designed road signs which were used to mark the routes.
The school spokesperson said: “Thanks to this initiative, we have observed more students and parents using safe routes to get to school.”