Chatrity Official
5 min readFeb 11, 2021


By Natalie Wong

Photo from My Guide Singapore

For the longest time, humans have established that we are the dominant species on Earth, because of our sentience and intellect that have driven us to develop complex systems of governance, communication, transport et cetera, that no other species have been observed to. In the urban landscape, we are the keystone species by way of up-taking the role of ecosystem engineers.

However, in most of the natural ecosystems humans occupy, we are the invasive species. Humans consume resources across a broad spectrum of biomes without any significant competition — even if there is, it is quickly eliminated. Such has led to the destruction of ecosystems as we tailor them to our benefit, the pace of which, over the last century, has been increasing at an alarming rate. As our landscapes slowly fall apart, here are 5 endangered animals in Singapore that we have taken up the responsibility of conserving and safeguarding.


1. Straw-headed Bulbul

Photo from BirdLife International

Status: Critically Endangered

They are in high demand due to regional cage-bird trade, made vulnerable by its melodious song, lack of shyness and habit of roosting in easily accessible locations.

Fun Fact: Singapore is the only stronghold of this species, that only has a global population of between 600 to 1,700.

2. Raffles’ Banded Langur

Photo from Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Status: Critically Endangered

Once a flourishing species, its population is greatly threatened by habitat loss and poaching, making it extremely rare to spot even in its own natural habitat.

Fun fact: Sir Stamford Raffles discovered this species in 1822, and is one of only three non-human primates found locally.

3. Hawksbill Turtle

Photo from Olive Ridley Project

Status: Critically Endangered

Millions of hawksbills have been killed in the last 100 years for the tortoiseshell trade, their eggs and their flesh. They also face major habitat loss due to coastal development and global climate change.

Fun fact: Adult hawksbills can hold their breath for up to 3 hours, but typically surface every 15 to 30 minutes.

4. Sunda Pangolin

Photo from Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Status: Critically Endangered

The most trafficked mammals in the world, they are being poached to extinction for their meat and scales, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Fun fact: A pangolin’s tongue is longer than its body, it retracts into a special cavity in its abdomen.

5. Smooth-coated Otter

Photo from: The Sunday Post

Status: Critically Endangered

Although commonly sighted in Singapore’s mangroves and coastal areas, these creatures face the threat of habitat loss, pollution and poaching for the illegal pet trade everywhere else in Southeast Asia.

Fun fact: When swimming slowly, the otter uses all four of its paws to “doggy paddle”, and it can close its ears and nostrils underwater.

Biodiversity is the key indicator of the health of our ecosystems. Without biodiversity, ecosystems that clean our water, purify our air, regulate the climate and provide us with food, will fail to function at its optimum productivity levels. Every single living being on the planet, is affected by the loss of biodiversity. Human activity is the largest contributor to the rapid dissolution of our biodiversity: habitat loss and degradation through massive urbanization, exploitation, and pollution. The facts are startling, but this is not irreversible. Here are 5 organizations you can support to make a difference, bringing us one step closer to restoring our biodiversity.


1. WWF Singapore

WWF Singapore organizes outreach activities and awareness campaigns, to raise public awareness on critical conservation and footprint issues and garner support for local, regional and global initiatives to protect, conserve and create a sustainable planet for generations to come, stopping the degradation of the planet’ natural environment.

2. Conservation International Singapore

Conservation International provides environmental education, university internships, and direct support to conservation science and research. Additionally, they form partnerships with the private and civil sectors to encourage environmental responsibility and sustainability.

3. Nature Society Singapore

Nature Society is dedicated to promoting nature conservation and appreciation, organizing various projects that focus on rescue, adoption, research, restoration and clean-up.

4. Singapore Environment Council

Singapore Environment Council has given direction to the environmental movement in Singapore through training and education programmes that provide people with the opportunity to develop awareness, knowledge, skills and tools to protect and improve our environment for a sustainable future, collaborating with public, private and civil sectors.

5. Garden City Fund

Garden City Fund financially bolsters projects that are devoted to optimising green spaces in Singapore, supporting the urban biodiversity conservation model, enhancing competencies of the landscape industry in Singapore; as well as engaging the community to support their research and outreach efforts to help protect, conserve and enhance our natural heritage.

6. Animals Concerns Research and Education Society

ACRES is dedicated to the rehabilitation and rescue of animals from illegal wildlife trade, as well as injured native animals. They tackle wildlife crime, as well as focusing on humane education, community outreach and promoting cruelty-free living.

7. Jane Goodall Institute Singapore

JGIS is focused on inspiring individual action through education and inspiration, to improve the understanding, welfare and conservation of the environment, its wildlife and to safeguard the planet we share; creating a society where people live in harmony with nature and animals.

“Biodiversity starts in the distant past, and it points toward the future.”

― Frans Lanting



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