When Sir Stamford Raffles landed in Singapore in 1819, he found an island covered in lush forests. The rainforest at the highest point on the island, Bukit Timah Hill, contained a rich variety of plant species. Slightly more than half a century later, in 1883, Bukit Timah became the first forest reserve established for nature conservation in Singapore.
Today, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve continues to be a treasured home for Singapore’s biodiversity – it contains about 40% of the country’s native flora and land fauna, and around 15% of the total primary dipterocarp rainforest left in Singapore. This is particularly remarkable for this 163ha gazetted nature reserve, whose size makes up only about 0.2% of the total country area of 719.1 sq km.