Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Coral Reef & Freshwater Life at Tioman

Day 3 of the PJC Tioman Field trip was yet another bright and sunny day.

In the morning, we went on a snorkelling trip. I've snorkelled at Tioman a few years ago, but this time round, I had my waterproof camera with me! Hmm... time to test whether it really works :)

We had to take a boat to the first snorkelling spot, which took us about 20 minutes. The currents were a bit strong, and thus some of the students got a little seasick.

Some of the students chose not to snorkel. Here are the daring ones - most of them were snorkelling for the first time!

There were lots of fishes at the coral reef! I guess snorkelling is certainly a much cheaper alternative to scuba diving if you just want to see lots of fishes. Heh heh, the divers like Chay Hoon and Samson will probably disagree with me though :P

I'm not very good with identifying fishes actually. So most of the time I had no idea what fish I was looking at.

I think this is a parrotfish. Am I right?

The seabed was densely covered with corals, but like the lagoon in front of my room, Acropora seems to be the dominating genus.

And here're more Acropora.

Not quite sure what coral this is though. Probably a Montipora?

Apart from corals and fishes, there were other organisms too, such as the sea urchins above.

There were sea cucumbers too!

Near our snorkelling spot, there were some tern's nesting rocks as well. I managed to swim close enough to get a nice shot.

We spent about 45 minutes at the first snorkelling spot before taking a boat ride to the marine park. There were not many corals here, but there were lots of fishes!

Here's Andrew giving quick instructions to some of the PJC students on how to snorkel properly.

Indeed, there were lots of fishes!

Fishes, fishes, everywhere!

Here's a group shot of 4 PJC students snorkelling with me.

Another shot of three other students, whom I jokingly told them that with the goggles, no one will be able to tell who they were.

And so they decided to take another one without the goggles.

It was a fun-filled morning in saltwater, and we headed back to the resort for lunch. And after lunch, it's freshwater time!

The students were supposed to catch whatever animals they could find in the stream with nets.

One of the methods engaged was the "rock and roll" method. Bascially, they rocked and rolled the rocks and place a net nearby to scoop up the animals that were trying to escape from the commotion.

And of course, after catching the animals, you have to remove them from the net and place them in containers or plastic bags.

A recorder then had to record the number of animals found per species.

Was busy taking the people shots and helping to catch the animals that I forgot to take photos of the animals we found :P

Anyway, we caught several crabs, lots of shrimps of various species, a few water skaters, a frog, a few stonefly nymphs, a few freshwater nerites and many fishes.

On the whole, this has been a very enriching experience for me. So that's how they conduct studies on freshwater biodiversity!

I think today has indeed been a very fun day for both the students and the instructors :)

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