Jan 28, 2013

Chek Jawa (27 Jan 2013)

TeamSeagrass is back on shore for our first monitoring session of 2013!
We enjoyed great weather, saw wild boar, dugong feeding trails and had a chance to check up on the health of Chek Jawa. We also removed an abandoned driftnet.

It was a gorgeous blue-sky afternoon as we arrived on Pulau Ubin.
At Chek Jawa, we came across Mama wild boar and her grown up piglet. Oh dear, they were eating some food left among the parked bicycles. Sadly, when such wild animals do their natural thing, they are considered to be misbehaving.
Nor Aishah starts us off by explaining how monitoring is done. Then it was time to get on the shore! Sadly, I forgot to take a group photo of everyone before we headed out for our monitoring.
At Site 1, the area of Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) is now huge! And the seagrasses are lush.
The other seagrass species seen on Chek Jawa include Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis), Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.), Fern seagrass (Halophila spinulosa). I didn't see Beccari's seagrass (Halophila beccarii) on this trip.
It was nice to see dugong feeding trails near the Northern sand bar!
We also spotted other marine life while we monitored, including this mantis shrimp! This creature is not a true shrimp and has fearsome claws that resembles the terrestrial mantid.
We had lots of hands today so I headed off to check on how Chek Jawa is coping with the recent spell of wet weather. In 2007, during our first ever TeamSeagrass monitoring at Chek Jawa, we came across mass deaths of carpet anemones and other animals. This is believed to be due to heavy rainfall as marine life can't cope well with too much freshwater. Here's more of what I saw as well as about how the seagrass situation has changed around the pontoon.
Alas, as I headed to check up on Site 2, I came across a large abandoned driftnet. More about the net on Project Driftnet.
Thankfully, we had so many strong young people to help take turns carrying the net out all the way to the Information Kiosk. Thank you!
While we waited for the van to arrive and to distract us from the annoying mosquitos, Kok Sheng shared more about his project work on mass deaths at Chek Jawa. He managed to do a quick survey of Chek Jawa to see how it's doing and has blogged about his assessment.
As usual, after a TeamSeagrass trip, there's lots of washing. So that all the equipment is nice and clean and ready for our next trip.
It was great to have so many enthusiastic people with us on this trip: Samantha, Boon Seng, Kah Ming, Yin Xin, Claudia, Jui Piow, Wei Hao, Johannes, Valerie, Simon and Royston. Special thanks to the veterans who led the transects: Nor Aishah, Chay Hoon, Pei Yan, Mei Lin, Gladys. And the trip would not have been possible without Rachel making all the transport and other logistical arrangements. Thank you!

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