SLA clarifies claim that workers pruned tree with chicks nesting on branches, stopped when nest was found

SLA said it has "nature's best interests at heart".

Ashley Tan | March 10, 2021, 06:46 PM

A nature lover recently claimed in a Facebook post that trees with birds nesting in them were being pruned.

However, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) clarified that they stopped pruning once the nest was discovered.

Workers stopped pruning tree once nest was spotted

On Mar. 8, one Jimmy Wong posted to the Nature Society Singapore Facebook group, alerting fellow nature lovers to a specific tree at Seletar Aerospace.

Wong called for JTC (JTC Corporation) not to prune the tree, as there were black-winged kite chicks nesting there.

The Facebook post appears to have been taken down.

Photo from NSS / FB

In response to Mothership's queries, SLA made clear that the tree was not felled.

The tree was pruned on Mar. 8 as part of routine tree maintenance in that area, as the crowns were too heavy and the branches were overextended.

Separately, SLA also cut down two dead trees on March 9.

SLA revealed that it is standard practice for their contractor to check the trees for birds' nests and bees or hornets' nests before pruning.

However on Mar. 8, the workers did not spot the kite's nest initially.

SLA speculated that the workers did not see the nest due to the tree's heavy crown.

Nevertheless, the workers saw the nest during the pruning process, and stopped works immediately.

Photo from SLA, by a bird-watching enthusiast.

SLA added that it has "nature’s best interests at heart", and is careful when conducting maintenance works on state land.

They said:

"We are glad the fledglings are well, and we thank members of the public for their continued vigilance. Here is a photo of the fledglings, safe in their nest, shared with us by a bird-watching enthusiast."

A conversation about forests

Since Oct. 2020 when nature lovers first called attention to the untouched Clementi forest, Singapore's nature community has arguably become more vigilant of the conservation of the country's remaining green spaces.

This included a recent incident surrounding the "erroneous" clearance of Kranji woodland, which was first brought to light by the nature community online.

JTC however, clarified that the woodland was previously scrubland that was subsequently dominated by Albizia trees.

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Top photo from SLA