From April 2022 to October 2023, 309 individuals in Singapore were found feeding wildlife, of which 186 fed pigeons, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said in a written parliamentary reply on Nov. 22.
The National Parks Board (NParks) takes appropriate enforcement action based on the circumstances of each case.
This may include issuing an advisory, warning, or composition fine.
However, for repeat offenders, NParks also partners with other organisations to understand their motivations and discourage them from continuing to feed wildlife.
Yeo Wan Ling: Mental wellness programmes for wildlife feeders
Lee was responding to a written parliamentary question from Member of Parliament (MP) Yeo Wan Ling on illegal wildlife feeding and whether the ministry will consider helping repeat offenders.
He said NParks works together with organisations such as the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), municipal services Office, People’s Association, and town councils to understand their motivations and discourage them from continuing to feed wildlife.
Besides loneliness, some individuals also feed wildlife as they are concerned that the animals are not getting enough food in the wild.
NParks will offer these individuals nature-based activities as alternatives to feeding, such as community gardening and birdwatching.
Lee said the former allows these individuals to engage with others socially, while the latter helps them see how wild birds forage for food without human-generated food sources.
For individuals with mental health needs, AIC will link them with appropriate services that provide support, such as counselling.
Public have a part to play
Lee said NParks also works with the Singapore Food Agency, National Environment Agency and TCs to raise general public awareness of the negative impacts of feeding wildlife.
He said this is part of NParks’ holistic approach to wildlife management, including measures such as food source reduction, habitat modification, and population control.
Lee encouraged members of the public to play their part in keeping the populations of wildlife species under control and safeguarding public health and safety by not feeding wildlife and keeping our environment clean.
Individuals convicted of feeding wildlife in Singapore can be fined up to S$10,000 under the Wildlife Act.
Don't feed wildlife, please
Top image from Canva