Monday, September 26, 2011

Pulau Ubin (26 Sep 11)

A large team of volunteers head out for another 'overseas trip'!
Today we are heading for a mudflat on Pulau Ubin near Chek Jawa.

As we gathered for departure, the resident cat at the Jetty, whom we affectionately name 'Tail-Cat', is intrigued by our gear!
There's a bloom of Sea lettuce on the shore and the tide is a little high. But this doesn't deter the volunteers as we get briefed and ready to get muddy!
But first, a nice 'before' group photo when we are still all clean.
The mudflat grades into seagrass meadows in some parts. Other parts are sandy. And it's not very soft. Hurray!
In many parts of the shore though, there is black compacted mud under the sand. Not many animals are found here.
We all quickly spread out along the working site, with Singapore mainland on the horizon, and huge ships passing through the international shipping lanes that lead to shipyards in Singapore and Johor.
On the other side, the mangroves of Pulau Ubin. Today we enjoyed a lovely cool, overcast but dry day, with a slight breeze to keep the bugs away. Hurray!
Here's some of the hardworking volunteers, cheerfully but carefully checking for organisms that might be found in the ground.
Wow, they have a found a very large bristleworm, lots of snapping shrimps and whelk snails and other critters.
There's a stream winding out from the mangroves, handy for sieving.
Meanwhile, a more energetic team has headed out into the waters to check out the fishes there with the seine net. It's hard work!
All too soon, it was time to gather back and have a look at our finds.
Dr Ng has found a Pygmy squid! This little creature doesn't grow much bigger. It has a 'glue-gun' on its butt so that it can stick to seagrass blades where it can rest or lurk for prey. I've seen one catch a shrimp!
Wow, this looks like a spaghetti worm! See the tangle of fine filaments on the head? Cool! However, this site isn't as 'wormy' as other places we have sampled.
And these look like Scintilla clams!
Jonathan showed us a little Spotted green pufferfish he found.
There were lots of little gobies with pretty blue dots in the shallow streams on the shore.
There's also a Yellow-spotted mudskipper! The fishing team also found lots of Eel-tail catfishes and some other interesting fishes. We also got loads of crabs of all kinds, and plenty of little snails.
Before we head back, we have a last hearty group photo. Then it's back to the mainland for a well deserved dinner!
Coming up later in the week, more laboratory sessions to help sort out what we have found so far. It's exciting to be a part of discovering more about Singapore's marine biodiversity!

Come join us and help make a difference for our marine biodiversity!

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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