A tropical island city-state, Singapore lies within the Malesian biogeographical region, consisting of one main island and about 60 smaller offshore islands. Located 137 kilometers north of the equator, it is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor and from the Indonesian Islands by the Strait of Singapore. Singapore has 22 nature areasc, which include four nature reserves. Through careful planning, Singapore was able to increase its green cover from 36 per cent in 1986, to 47 per cent in 2007, despite a population growth of 68 per cent from 2.7 million to 4.6 million in the same period. Currently, close to 10 per cent of the total land area is set aside for parks and nature reserves. Its lush green cover and warm tropical climate make Singapore rich in biodiversity despite its small land mass.
The island has more than 3,971 native vascular plant species, a total of 52 mammal species, 98 reptile species, 28 amphibian species, a total of 364 species of birds, and 295 species of butterflies. Inter-tidal mangroves and mudflats are home to hundreds of fish species, which live in the root systems of more than 31 different true mangrove species. Seagrass meadows still exist, with 12 of the 23 Indo-Pacific species found within Singapore’s waters. More than 200 species of sponges have been recorded, and many more are likely to be observed in the sub-tidal areas, along with 256 different species of hard corals.