Today, I saw many signs of what seems to be dugong feeding trails on Chek Jawa!
TeamSeagrass volunteers who monitored despite the rain. I also did a quick check to see if Chek Jawa has been affected by recent flooding in Johor.
After the monitoring, I had a quick look around to see if there were any signs of ill health due to the recent flooding in Johor and heavy rains in Singapore. In 2007, Chek Jawa suffered mass deaths following heavy flooding in Johor. In fact, we observed mass deaths during the first ever TeamSeagrass monitoring which was held at Chek Jawa in Jan 2007!
Carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) both in the water and on the sand bar. Most of them looked normal, although some were 'squished' up probably due to the rain. I didn't come across any that were 'bleaching' or bloated, which is what happened in 2007.
Striped hermit crabs (Clibanarius infraspinatus), many sand collars which are the egg mass of moon snails (Family Naticidae), one lovely egg case of the Noble volutes (Cymbiola nobilis) although I didn't see any of these snails. I also saw several sponges growing in the seagrass meadows, as well as many orange ascidians. I also saw a few cerianthid aka peacock anemone.
swimming crabs (Family Portunidae) among the seagrasses. They can be quite fierce!
egg strings among the seagrasses. I think the one on the left are laid by some kind of slug (though I didn't see any today), and the one on the right is laid by Gong-gong snails (Strombus turturella).
Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis), there are usually a lot more of these. I was glad to see several Garlic sea cucumbers (Holothuria scabra) which is believed to play an important role in seagrass health. I didn't come across any Ball sea cucumbers (Phyllophorus sp.) today.
Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta). But I didn't see any sea stars.
shorebirds feeding on the seagrass meadows today. These migratory birds need to feed on mudflats and shores like Chek Jawa to fuel their long distance flights.
dugong feeding trails!
Dr Dan first spotted what seems to be a dugong at high tide from the Jejawi Tower. I do hope these are signs that dugongs have recently visited Chek Jawa!
Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata). As far as I've seen, this is the largest patch of this kind of seagrass in Singapore. Smaller patches have so far only been seen at Cyrene Reef and at Tanah Merah.
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis), Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.), Fern seagrass (Halophila spinulosa) and I was glad to see some small patches of the rare Beccari's seagrass (Halophila beccarii). There's an article about Singapore and this rare seagrass in the latest issue of Seagrass Watch.
abandoned driftnets. The only ones I came across have been on the shore for such a long time that animals such as sponges are growing on them. We leave these on the shore as they are no longer a serious threat to marine life.
Delek air (Memecylon edule), a rare coastal tree, is fruiting!
Naked Hermit Crabs free public walks aimed especially at families.