The Singapore Botanic Gardens Rainforest
The Singapore Botanic Gardens Rainforest is one of the few remnant primary rainforest fragments in Singapore. It is part of the primeval vegetation of Singapore which consisted mostly of primary rainforest (Yee et. al, 2011). The Gardens’ Rainforest is a refuge for many critically endangered flora native to Singapore. Despite various developments that followed the Gardens since its inception, this patch of rainforest has been largely preserved. The Rainforest is now part of the Gardens’ conservation efforts for both its biodiversity and natural heritage value, which is aligned with the UNESCO World Heritage Site Management Plans.
Past studies on the Singapore Botanic Gardens Rainforest have investigated the effects of rainforest fragmentation and compositional changes over time. Recent and historical surveys indicate that it has about 300 species of native trees, and about 190 species of native shrubs and climbers. As found in many rainforests of Southeast Asia, the dominant trees in this remnant forest patch are from the family Dipterocarpaceae, some of which are critically endangered (such as Shorea gratissima, Vatica pauciflora and Vatica ridleyana). The Gardens’ Rainforest is also home to other rare native plants such as Memecylon cantleyi, Cyathocalyx sumatranus, Artocarpus fulvicortex, Scorodocarpus borneensis, and Alangium ridleyi. Recently, a very rare nutmeg, Endocomia canarioides was identified in the Rainforest.
The forest also serves as an important refuge for animals like the Hill Mynah (Gracula religiosa), the Greater racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus), the Brown Tree Snail (Amphidromus inversus) and many other plants native to Singapore which may not thrive in the surrounding urban landscape.