NParks National Biodiversity Centre kicked off the Dialogue Session with volunteers of the Survey this Saturday morning.
This was followed by a fascinating presentation by Dr Tan Koh Siang of the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) who outlined many of the amazing life we have found in the last months of mudflat surveys!
Lim Chu Kang.
recently conducted a workshop in Singapore under the Survey, is in the midst of studying this more closely. To be more certain of the identity of an animal, often we need more than one specimen as there are natural variations among animals.
Pulau Ubin. Dr Tan explains that while we may need to collect animals for identification, we do not collect animals that are readily identified in the field, such as horseshoe crabs and large common molluscs. Animals that are collected will be stored with the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research where they will be available for study by current and future researchers from Singapore and around the world. These painstakingly collected and prepared specimens of Singapore's biodiversity will continue to add to our understanding and protection of our natural heritage for many decades to come!
The Survey, Dr Tan highlighted, has shown that every mudflat we visit is different, although they may look and feel (and smell) the same! It also shows that we never know what to find until we look. Since November 2010, the Survey has covered 31 sites in 15 location. In addition to the surveys done with volunteers, the TMSI team also surveyed some additional sites on their own.
So far, the target has been to gather qualitative data, i.e., to answer the question "What lifeforms can be found here?". We have yet to consider answering quantitative questions like "How common are they?". The Survey may consider gathering quantitative data for selected sites and for specific animals. It's not possible to count everything!
|Seine net surveys are hard work!|
The plans are to hold lab session at TMSI at St. John's Island on these dates and times (to be confirmed)
Time: 0900-1300hrs, depart Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal 0845hrs
5 volunteers on weekdays and up to 10 volunteers on weekends.
Dates (to be confirmed)
5 Sep (Mon), 30 Sep (Fri)
8 Oct (Sat), 29 Oct (Sat)
19 Nov (Sat), 25 Nov (Sat)
Looking well ahead, in 2012 to 2014, part II of the Survey will include sampling of the seabed within Singapore Port Limits using a scientific research vessel. Volunteers can also help onboard the vessel as well as at the laboratory in sorting and identifying animals.
Also in 2012-2014, part III of the Survey will involve sampling of intertidal and subtidal reefs in Singapore Strait via SCUBA supplemented by reef walks during low tide. Volunteers are needed both in and out of water for sampling invertebrates and fish.
There are also plans to hold two international workshops where local and international experts will be invited to work on Singapore's marine life for 3 weeks. Volunteers will also be needed to help these experts look for marine life and to process the finds. The plan is to hold a Johor Strait workshop in October 2012 and a Singapore Strait workshop in May 2013.
Here's my photos of all of Dr Tan's slides (apologies for the poor photo quality).
Registered volunteers, look out for details from Jonathan about these activities via our mailing list!
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