Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chek Jawa Seagrass July 2007

Made another trip with the Team Seagrass to Chek Jawa this morning. We were a little late due to some transportation issue. Were able to complete our primary duties - Seagrass monitoring still.

However, as the tide is already coming in by the time most of us completed. We will all ushered out by Siti hastily. As myself and Marcus finished the monitoring slightly earlier than the others, was able to spot some animals in the seagrass lagoon.

(Above: Sea Cucumber & Mantis Shrimp)

As we were moving back to the starting point (Information Kiosk), I can't help but to snap a few pic of the newly opened boardwalk which we are going to visit shortly.

After all of us have gathered at the information kiosk, we proceeded to the new visitor center for some cleaning up and breakfast (tks to Ria) before Ria is going to lead us into the coastal & boardwalk.

After breakfast (which I manage to take a few pix of CJ), we proceeded with the walk. Before entering to the coastal walk, there were lots of termites on the sand and everyone were so amazed by it.

After everyone happy with their shoot, we moved into the coastal walk. Along the way there are quite a few lovely flora.

The starting point of the boardwalk is only ~10mins walk from the coastal walk which was pleasant walk cos most part are under the canopy of the trees and plants.

We do get some spectacular view from the boardwalk. Since the tide is already in, we are not able to see any of the wetlands. No matters, the views there are still lovely.

Part of the boardwalk will bring us into the mangrove area. Just b4 we left the wetland area, someone spotted a monitor lizard along the shore. I reckon its the common water monitor lizard.

Just before we exit from the boardwalk is where the new tower is situated and this is my 1st up up on it. The view up there is definitely different from what we usually experience down on the wetlands. Up there, we can see the open stretch of forest. Cool!

As this weekend is the 1 weekend since the launch of the boardwalk where public are allow to visit on their own. Without doubts, people already are starting to stream into the area and since we have achieve what we planned, its time to head home.

Once again, another fulfilling trip to Chek Jawa. For more pix, do visit my gallery.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sisters Island June 2007 - Pulau Subar Laut

30th June 2007 mark my 1st trip to the Sisters Island. Big Sister (Pulau Subar Laut) to be exact. When early in the morning with the fellows from Beach Fleas.

(The Intertidal Lagoon just before sun rise)

(The Sun is up!)

Had quite a fruitful trip. Although according to the "veteran", it has been "quiet" today. THe lagoon lost some colors. This is mainly due to the absent of many sponges and some corals. In actual facts, while exploring the area I do noticed that there are quite a few corals are not doing too well. Some look like breeching. Some diseased and some just simply dying. Wildfilm blog has some pix of the corals been infested by lots of flatworms. Flatworms are the simplest of the worm groups which has >20,000 species known. They are considered a parasitic that lives off of another living thing, typically some corals.

(Hard Coral)

(Green Anemone Hard coral, Goniopora sp.)

(Hard Coral)

(Probably Green Star Polyp, Pachyclavularia sp.)

(Plate/Disc or Mushroom Coral, Fungia sp.)

Beside seeing corals, I also managed to spot some anemones. 3 only in fact. I was hoping to see more or at least a large carpet anemone. Good thing, Ron, Helen and July did saw one with a False Clown hosting it. Check out Ron's blog.

(Branched-tentacle anemone, Phymanthus sp.)

(Star anemone, Condylactis sp.) - Pardon me on my lousy photo skill. :p)

(Probably a White Star Anemone?)

There is no lack of fishes in the lagoon. Even at its lowest tide, we can still see lots of fishes and inverts around. Due to my limited photography skill in dark environment, most of my pix cannot it make to press.

(Probably some Cardinal Fish)

(A FlatHead fish?)

The mantis shrimp is not, in fact, a shrimp. It belongs to the subphylum Crustacea which is the largest class of crustaceans, containing more than 20,000 species. The one we saw at Sisters is a smasher. Smasher has a very sharp, single point at the end of the last segment, which can be used like a knife to stab or slash at soft tissues while spearer have something like 3 to 17 upward/outward projecting spines on the last segment, but no heel at it's base.

(Green Mantis Shrimp

We had some interesting discovery after the sun rise and just in time before the tides came back in. There was the Decorator crab and Basket Star. Apprarently, a decorator crab camouflaged itself with tiny seaweeds and animals like anemones, sponges and bryozoans.

(Decorator Crab, Cyclocoeloma tuberculata?)

It seems like all the veteren are overjoyed with the discovery of the Basket star cos it is the 1st time they saw one in Sisters. Basket stars are a specialized type of brittle stars which have a series of complexly branched arms which are used to catch plankton.

(Basket Star, Gorgonocephalus eucnemis?)

All in all, a very nice trip. Saw some spectacular views of the southern inlands with yet another shore in Singapore that "wow" me with its lovely life!.

(At the Jetty)