Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kranji field survey (15 Jan 2011)

Another overwhelming turnout of intrepid volunteers for our second field survey and our first for 2011. Bravo!
All ready for muddy action!
Thanks to Linda and Jonathan for setting up everything for our work, and Bari of Sungei Buloh for arranging the transport of equipment and taking care of us. And Dr Tan Koh Siang and his able team from the Tropical Marine Science Institute who have everything ready for action too!
A cooking class gone mad? No, it's our simple tools for the survey.
After short briefing, Dr Tan leads us out on to the mudflats!
Today we do a shore facing the Johor Strait with Johor on the horizon.
The team quickly gets to work along the transect line.
We work in pairs. There's lots to do!
Here's a clip of us getting to work, taken with the awesome FLIP video camera kindly supplied by Shaun Quek of Cisco through the introduction of fellow volunteer Sam Yeo. It's hard work digging up the lifeforms carefully. Sometimes, we encounter buried trash. Oh dear.
After digging out mud samples, we have to carefully sieve out the mud and then pick out all the interesting lifeforms. We also take a sample of the mud there so we can learn more about how the substrate affects our biodiversity and visa versa.
We rapidly find all kinds of things as we work! Meanwhile, there's lots of people taking photos, and Andy helped take FLIP video clips too.
Ooo...what is that?!
After the hard work of digging and sieving and picking out, Dr Tan's team and some of the volunteers do more back-breaking work to sort out the finds into the various different kinds of animals.
It's mind-boggling to see the assortment of life found
in a small location and just a short working time!
Among some of the finds, lots and lots of bristleworms, several long pink ribbon worms, Lantern shells, little hermit crabs with anemones on their shells, crabs, shrimps and more!
There were many of these clams.
Dr Tan Koh Siang tells us lots of fascinating facts about the creatures we have found!
Many of the mangrove species are yummy for people to eat.
And definitely yummy for the food chain in the ecosystem!
Here's a video clip of Dr Tan explaining about some of our finds.
Once again, the weather turned wet but fortunately, we had put in lots of work. We packed up quickly and headed back, just in time before the deluge started.

Today, we were also joined by some very sporting journalists and their photographers. So look out for more news about the Survey in the local papers!

Near the Survey site, Wei Ling found large meadows of the Critically Endangered Beccari's seagrass (Halophila beccarii)! Some of us also checked out the rare mangroves in the area, and saw otters at Sungei Buloh. More on the wild shores of singapore blog.

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 sessions are at Sungei Cina 26 Jan (Wed) and Pulau Ubin 12 Feb (Sat). While these two slots are 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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