Jan 23, 2007

Team Seagrass Field Orientation at CJ - Session II

Sunday was a slightly more cheerful day at Chek Jawa. One because the sun was shining and two because the transect points had been set up the previous day so I wasn't snapping like a snapping shrimp.

This is the way we start our trips, bright and shiny on the boat-ride over to Pulau Ubin.

And here we are at the Ubin Jetty, all clean and raring to go.Its a pity we didn't get a group photo from Saturday. Sorry guys, transect point anxiety makes us forget the special little things.

And we're off! After a quick briefing session and forming teams and meeting new friends, Team Seagrass trooped out to the flats of Chek Jawa to begin monitoring and were soon hard at work. Volunteers started work at site A with Shufen and I overlooking while Wei Ling brought the others over to site B.

With everyone happily occupied, I had time to pose for photos... I mean... do a thorough recce of CJ...And here's something that's becoming a bit of a theme with our field trip recaps on this blog... butts! :) The honour no longer belongs solely to Shufen! Heh heh heh...

But in the midst of our monitoring merriment, we knew that all was not well with our favourite shore. The blow Chek Jawa has suffered was not lost on us. Many of the familiar critters were either missing-in-action, very few in numbers or looked really unhappy. Like the carpet anemones over at the beacon, who bore the pallid pale yellow look of anemones under stress.And the sponges which looked ashen... literally. All the sponges looked like they've simply melted away.But amid the devastation, there were still little critters spotted alive and relatively well among the seagrasses.

And life finds a way to carry on. Shufen spotted this egg sac with what we think are snail eggs on the underside of a Halophila ovalis leaf.The seagrasses of Chek Jawa didn't look too bad either, although there were very few Halophila spinulosa around and the meadow seems to have been replaced with Halodule uninervis.Clockwise from top left: Halophila ovalis, Halodule uninervis, Halophila spinulosa, Thalassia hemprichii

So in all, it was a good two days of field training :) Well done Seagrassers! I'll put up the results from both monitoring days soon. Till then, smile a lot and hug a seagrass!

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