System which alerts drivers to wildlife crossing roads to be installed at Rifle Range Road

The development of the system for Rifle Range Road will start in the first half of 2022.

Ashley Tan | November 17, 2021, 08:40 PM

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The use of an animal detection system for roads will be extended to Rifle Range Road.

This was shared by Minister for National Development Desmond Lee during a Nov. 15 dialogue session on nature and conservation organised by the Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore).

The system known as the Roadway Animal Detection System (RADS) was first implemented by the National Parks Board (NParks) at Old Upper Thomson Road in Oct. 2019.

Second road to have an animal detection system

The system helps inform motorists of any wildlife movement on the road, to reduce the occurrence of human-wildlife traffic accidents.

It detects wildlife movements using video analytics and also comes with Advance Warning Signs (AWS) that flash to alert road users to reduce their speed in response to wildlife movements.

The system is said to have an accuracy rate of nearly 100 per cent at detecting animals.

Besides the Old Upper Thomson Road, the use of RADS will be now extended to another area — the two-way Rifle Range Road that lies between Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the upcoming Rifle Range Nature Park.

The new site will allow NParks to test the system's effectiveness for different road conditions.

Rifle Range Road is also selected because animals have been observed crossing between the two forested areas.

The development of the system for Rifle Range Road will start in the first half of 2022.

To further reduce roadkills, RADS is complemented by other structures to facilitate wildlife movement, such as rope bridges and underground culverts.

Surveys on human-wildlife encounters

Two upcoming nationwide studies on the public's perception of wildlife will also be conducted.

This follows NParks' observation on the increasing visitorship to parks and nature reserves since the start of the pandemic.

However, the agency said it recognises that the "community has varied levels of comfort with regard to encounters with wildlife".

The surveys will include a preliminary one by JGIS on public sentiments toward primates in Singapore and macaque management measures, which will lead up to a broader and more in-depth study by NParks Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at the Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD).

NParks and SUTD will collaborate on another study that aims to understand the public's perceptions and experience regarding wildlife and human-wildlife encounters, so as to "encourage sustainable and positive human-wildlife relationships".

Both surveys will be carried out in early 2022.

Top photo from NParks