Saturday, December 05, 2009

Chek Jawa Walk on 1 Dec 2009

Last Tuesday, I was back at Chek Jawa to help out with guiding for the public walk. Here are some of the photos taken during the trip.

Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis)
When we reached the entrance to Chek Jawa, there was a troupe of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) there. And much to my dismay, I saw one of them eating a packet of nasi lemak! While some visitors may find this to be cute, I personally felt that we should never feed wild animals, either deliberately or unintentionally. Please look after your food in a nature area, as once these wild animals got used to getting human food, they may eventually get into the habit of harassing humans for food. This may also result in them losing the ability to find food in the wild.

Wild boar (Sus scrofa)
There was a wild boar (Sus scrofa) at the hut, and it was also eating some bread - human food again!

I eventually reached the info kiosk area, and was assigned to a group of family and friends.

Nipah palm (Nypa fruticans)
As we were still early and the tide was still high, we decided to talk a walk along the mangrove boardwalk first. As usual, we saw lots of nipah palms (Nypa fruticans) bearing fruits. This is where you get your attap chee in your ice kacang!

Tumu putih (Bruguiera sexangula)
As we passed by the 2 tumu putih (Bruguiera sexangula) planted by Nparks, I noticed a flower, and decided to take a photo of it. This mangrove plant was once thought to be extinct in Singapore, until several trees were found on Pulau Tekong. The young plants here at Chek Jawa were grown with seedlings from Tekong!

We soon reached the intertidal area, but to get down to it, we had to climb down some stairs.

Orange striped hermit crab (Clibanarius infraspinatus)
And this was what we found at the base of the stairs - an orange striped hermit crab (Clibanarius infraspinatus)! It was a rather huge one, and was staying in a dead noble volute's shell. Unlike true crabs, hermit crabs have a soft abdomen, and need to hide it in empty snail shells to protect it.

Mantis shrimp
One of the participants spotted this mantis shrimp! This shrimp has sharp spines on its claws for slashing and capturing small fishes and other animals.

Moon snail (Polinices didyma)
I noticed a moving lump in the sand, and on brushing away the sand on top, this pretty moon snail (Polinices didyma). This snail feeds on other snails and clams.

Sand-sifting sea star (Archaster typicus)
Our hunter-seekers found us this sand-sifting sea star (Archaster typicus). Often mistake by aquarist to be an Astropecten species which preys on shells, this sea star actually feeds mostly on tiny organic particles among the sand.

Sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta)
Sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta) were really abundant here, and we had to be very careful so as not to step on any of them.

Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis)
Unlike the noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis) shell we saw earlier with the hermit crab, this one was alive!

Kite butterflyfish (Parachaetodon ocellatus)
The hunter-seekers found this pair of juvenile kite butterflyfish (Parachaetodon ocellatus) in the seagrass meadow. Many marine animals lay their eggs among the seagrass and use the habitat like a nursery as there are lots of hiding places and food.

Elbow crab
There was also an elbow crab. No prizes for guessing how it got its common name...

Gong gong (Strombus turturella)
Gong gong (Strombus turturella) was one of the more commonly seen snails at Chek Jawa. It had a pair of cute little eyes to look out for danger as it hid in its shell.

Haddon's Carpet Anemone (Stichodactlya haddoni)
There were several Haddon's Carpet Anemones (Stichodactlya haddoni) on the sand bar. This one prevented itself from drying up by holding a "pool" of water in the middle of its oral disc.

Ball sea cucumber (Phyllophorus spp.)
Ball sea cucumbers (Phyllophorus spp.) used to be really common previously, but these days we tend to see only 1 or 2 per trip. I guess they were still trying to recover from the flooding that happened a few years ago that brought in too much freshwater and killed many of them.

Pink thorny sea cucumber (Colochirus quadrangularis)
Pink thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis) can be commonly found on most of our northern shores. They appear to be somewhat seasonal though, as there are times when I see lots and lots of them, but just a few at other times.

Biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber)
The visitors were quite delighted to see another sea star, this time round a biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber).

There was even a little pufferfish!

Sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra)
We found this sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) in a tidal pool. This is probably the most valuable species of edible sea cucumber in Singapore. The term "edible" is rather deceiving here though. This sea cucumber is actually toxic, and must be properly treated before they can be consumed.

Peanut worm
Just before we left the intertidal area, we came across this peanut worm. It quickly burrowed into the sand though.

Pulau Sekudu - the Frog Island
While heading back to the visitor centre, we stopped by to take a photo of Pulau Sekudu - the Frog Island!

Once again, it was a very enjoyable trip. Hopefully my participants enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed guiding them! :)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey kool pick's looks loke a fun place.