Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Admiralty Park, Sungei Cina field survey (26 Jan 11)

It's a sunny morning after a drizzly start, and another enthusiastic team have gathered for another mangrove Survey, even though it's a weekday! What awesome volunteers we have!
Dr Tan Koh Siang welcomes the team as they arrive at the site.
Today, we are having a closer look at the mangroves at Sungei Cina in Admiralty Park.

Here's the clean and happy team before we head down the very slippery slope to the mud flats.
All ready for muddy action!
Safety is a priority at the Survey. Jonathan gives a safety briefing before we start work. For the safety of participants as well as to minimise our impact on the mangroves and wildlife. And watch out for the mangrove pit vipers!
As usual, Dr Tan Koh Siang and his able team from the Tropical Marine Science Institute have already set up the transect line and prepared all the gear by the time we hit the mud.
The line stretches over some areas of varying muddiness: from not-so-soft, to super soft!
The line passes next to a mangrove stream.
The stream drains into a large pond that eventually leads to the sea under the road. It's great that effort has been made to conserve this mangrove in developing the area.
This mangrove in a hidden corner of Admiralty Park is quite lovely!
It's the usual Fun the Mud! Dig and Sieve, Pick and Sort. Then washing, ourselves and the transect tape, but most of us still have impressively muddy feet when we leave!
Here's some team members hard at work.
The team works hard even through the rain!
Travis dropped by to check up on us as he had an appointment at the nearby Republic Poly. He didn't bring his booties so he stayed on the bridge and helped out by explaining what we are doing to curious passers-by.
The team finds all kinds of critters along the transect line.
As usual, we get lots and lots and lots of bristleworms or polychaetes (Class Polychaeta)! As Dr Tan explains, these worms are important as part of the food chain. Which is why mangroves such as those at Sungei Buloh have such a great variety of shorebirds.
There were also lots of snails (Class Gastropoda) such as the large conical Telescopium snails (Telescopium telescopium) and other mangrove snails too!
We also found lots of Geloina clams (Geloina sp.) also called Lokan, and previously known as Polymesoda sp. Dr Tan later tells us more about these fascinating clams, summarised in the clip below. He tells us how you can keep them in a drawer for a month! And how a healthy population of these clams are not commonly seen nowadays. So our Survey has already revealed something useful today!
A tiny fish has been found! There were also lots of tiny fish larvae! Our mangroves are an important part of the lifecycle of many of our favourite seafood like shrimps and crabs and food fishes!
One of the bristleworms has dark spots. Something it ate? There's so much more to learn about our mangroves.
As the humans forage on the mud, behind them ...
Monkeys are also on the mud foraging! More about these monkeys today on the wild shores of singapore blog.
It's a very muddy trip! Here's our booties before the Survey...
Here's what our feet look like after the Survey!
The team has been so sporting and cheery throughout the Survey. Even little accidents in the mud doesn't get us down! Hurray!
Finally, we get to take a group photo AFTER the Survey, with our feet still muddy!
Still full of energy after a muddy time in the mangroves!
The video clips were taken with the awesome FLIP video camera kindly supplied by Shaun Quek of Cisco through the introduction of fellow volunteer Sam Yeo.

There's more work to be done after the field session, to process, sort and identify all these fascinating creatures. Look out for more news on how you can help out in this as well.

Our next session is at Pulau Ubin 12 Feb (Sat). While this slot is already fully signed up, more surveys will be announced.

To join us, register your interest in this form and you'll be invited to join the mailing list to receive updates on the Survey and sign up for Survey activities.

Also check out our FAQs for more about the Survey.

To find out more about our common mangrove wildlife, check out the online Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore and the wildsingapore wild fact sheets.

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