Gone birding in a park before? How about in a cemetery?! It all started out with Song Lin’s idea of surveying abandoned places in Singapore for our group’s urban ecology project, and after streamlining the idea into something more practical for us to complete within the time frame of this module, our group decided to compare avian diversity in 2 parks and 2 cemeteries (well, not exactly abandoned) in Singapore. The 2 parks and cemeteries are Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Tampines Eco Green (TEG), Lim Chu Kang Chinese cemetery and Lim Chu Kang Christian cemetery?
So why exactly did we choose parks and cemeteries? Both parks and cemeteries only occur in an urban landscape, with cemeteries receiving fewer visitors than park. Also, there is a gap in knowledge of avian diversity of both areas, especially on the diversity in both the cemeteries. As such, we identified 3 main objectives: 1) To investigate into the diversity of local
parks and cemeteries 2) Investigate if human disturbance affects diversity and to 3) Promote parks and cemeteries as pockets of diversity within the city.
Here are some key findings of our study that we hope to share:
- Christian cemetery has significantly higher abundance
- Chinese cemetery and Tampines Eco Green has significantly lower proportion of non-native bird abundance
- For Chinese cemetery, this result is likely because it is connected to the Western Catchment
- TEG was specifically designed for birds, and a lower proportion of non-native bird abundance could be because the non-native urban bird species are not able to exploit this habitat
- Also, for TEG, our results show that proximity to buildup area does not affect proportion of non-native birds
- No significant difference in bird diversity (Shannon-Weiner Index) among the 4 locations
- No significant difference in richness (No. Of species) among the 4 locations
- Similar diversity, but different assemblage (identity matters!)
With these results in hand, our group went on to create our deliverable, titled: Aviantures!
The aim of Aviantures is for our target audience (University students) to learn about our findings in a fun and interactive way. It is also to introduce the birds found in our parks and cemeteries as well as to learn about extent of human disturbance and impacts of urbanisation on bird diversity. It is a fun, engaging and competitive board game that we hope everyone will enjoy and learn something from this process. Here are some pictures of our game!
Our group really enjoyed the process of surveying and making the game, and we hoped that all of you enjoyed our presentation too!
*Food for thought: We wanted to bring up the implications of developing Jurong area as the next industrial hub in our presentation, but did not have enough time. Renee has nicely summarised some of the information in her blog post here which you can read about and think about the possible implications for the avian biodiversity in the cemeteries.*