Remove Pokestops from off-limit areas of Singapore’s nature reserves: NParks

Please leave the sensitive areas in Singapore’s nature reserves alone, the authorities here have urged the developers of the popular Pokemon Go mobile game.

The National Parks Board (NParks) has asked that Pokestops – the game’s virtual pit stops found in real-world locations – be removed from off-limit areas of three nature reserves.

“This is to avoid situations of Pokemon Go players walking off trails while playing the game, inadvertently trampling the vegetation, disturbing wildlife and causing damage to the environment, and endangering themselves,” said Mr Wong Tuan Wah, NParks’ group director for conservation.

The affected Pokestops are found within the sensitive forest and wetland habitats of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. They are located in off-limit areas where people should not be entering in the first place. Under the Parks and Trees Act, it is an offence to enter any part of a nature reserve except through designated trails.

NParks had appealed to game developer Niantic to have the Pokestops removed in August, when the game was launched here. But a quick check by The Straits Times yesterday showed they were still there.

Mr Wong said NParks is aware that more people are visiting Singapore’s nature reserves where Pokestops are located. Players of the game visit such stops, usually located at places of interest or landmarks, to obtain items such as Poke Balls, which can be used to catch virtual monsters called Pokemon.