HUMAN-WILDLIFE INTERACTIONS IN A ‘CITY IN NATURE’

PI: Dr Harvey Neo (LKYCIC, SUTD)

Team: Dr Samuel Chng, Dr Brigid Trenerry, Sara Ann Nicholas (LKYCIC, SUTD)

Human-wildlife encounters appear to be on the rise in Singapore. There may be three reasons for this:

  1. Housing and other infrastructural projects are built ever closer to nature reserves and parks, causing wildlife to forage closer to human habitats.
  2. Singapore’s desire to become a biophilic ‘City in Nature’ – where nature is interwoven with the urban fabric – has enabled wildlife to thrive in pockets of nature that have not existed before
  3. Travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have compelled more Singaporeans to look to our own backyard for leisure activities, thereby increasing encounters with wildlife.

Human-wildlife encounters can easily escalate into conflicts, if public apathy towards animals is high while knowledge of animals is low. Yet, the rise in human-wildlife encounters present a golden opportunity for turning such encounters into interactions that are meaningful and sustainable.

Our study seeks to understand how positive human-wildlife interactions can be fostered in a ‘City in Nature’. We wish to understand the kinds of attitudes towards animals that lend themselves to positive interactions; and how these attitudes are shaped by people’s life experiences and knowledge about nature and wildlife.

The first phase of our study involves a population survey. The survey is expected to commence in Q2 2022.

If you’d like to learn more about the study, please write to us at humanwildlife@sutd.edu.sg. We’d love to hear from you!

COMMENCED
1 September 2021
STATUS
Ongoing
PARTNERS AND SPONSORS
National Parks Board (Singapore)

TALKS