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Birds circle tree being cut down for hours, some parent birds stayed in nests ‘until the very end’

“Such a sad scene unwound outside our window today.” — Netizen

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Singapore — A concerned individual posted a video online of birds circling a tree being cut down on a construction site, sparking concern among netizens.

“Such a sad scene unwound outside our window today,” said Facebook page Singapore Wildlife Sightings member Susan Brewster Perrier on Wednesday (Jan 12).

Ms Perrier said that workers were cutting down trees in a lot destined for new construction at Haji Lane.

Photo: FB screengrab/Singapore Wildlife Sightings

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“Some parent birds stayed by nestlings at the top until the very end,” she wrote. “For hours after, they continued to circle the area where their babies had been.”

Photo: FB screengrab/Singapore Wildlife Sightings

Members from the online community shared the concern of Ms Perrier, mourning the loss of the birds’ home.

“It is sad to see baby birds falling to their deaths and death of that tree. Death of any life form is sad,” said Facebook user Deep Gill.

Regarding the timing of the trees being cut down, Facebook user Gus Civetta wondered if the birds’ nesting periods could be observed to avoid hurting the hatchlings.

Another individual asked if it was possible to remove or relocate the nests before cutting down trees.

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“This is where NParks should step in and do their part. I am disappointed with them. All they care about is what’s within their boundary. Anything else is out of bounds,” said a netizen, while another tagged the agency in a comment.

Meanwhile, others commented that authorities are maintaining the trees or planting more in exchange for clearing sites for construction.

According to Global Forest Watch, Singapore lost 2.39kha of tree cover from 2001 to 2020, which is equivalent to a 13 per cent decrease in tree cover since 2000.

“Singapore is committed to national and global climate action. Forests and terrestrial ecosystems play an important role in reducing the effects of climate change, and it is crucial to ensure sustainable land use and the conservation of forests,” said the Ministry of National Development in November last year.

Singapore joined more than 130 nations in signing a declaration, called the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, to stop and reverse land degradation and forest loss by 2030. /TISG

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