Jan 22, 2008

Chek Jawa first check up for 2008

It was another blue blue HOT day at Chek Jawa.Kok Sheng and his garang team were back on the shores of Chek Jawa to monitor the various key species as part of his project to track the recovery of Chek Jawa.

Today, we got a "Research in Progress" sign to explain to visitors why we were out on the flats. July brings it out onto the boardwalk while the rest of us make our way quickly to our stations.
Today was a special day also because Kok Sheng is being filmed for a Channel 8 series on people working for the environment!The film crew are really fun guys. With Png on sound, William at camera and Christopher talking to Kok Sheng as Kok Sheng bravely explains everything, in Mandarin!! Bravo!

Meanwhile, as usual, I was in the anemone team. We had a difficult time today because of the high water and very windy conditions.Oh dear. Poor Kok Sheng will have a hard time counting the tentacles in some of the photos.

But Chek Jawa is recovering quite nicely. The garang team found 10 common sea stars! More about the sea stars and photos of them on the discovery blog

The carpet anemones were doing well. Although they were still not found yet on the southern sand bar. The sand bar was instead covered with lots and LOTS of tubeworms.But the peacock anemones were still plentiful (these animals have an outer ring of longer tentacles, and inner ring of shorter tentacles).We only saw a few other kinds of anemones, such as this transparent one on the photo on the right.

There were of course lots of the Hairy sea hares (Bursatella leachii) still out on the shores.And we came across a bunch that had released a purple dye.They do this when they're stressed. Not sure why this bunch did it though. None of us stepped on them :-)

It was also very encouraging to see lots of the usual sea cucumbers.Sam gathered these: from the right the Sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra), the Ball sea cucumber (Phyllophorus sp.) and the smooth sea cucumber.

Later on I found a really tiny Warty sea cucumber (Cercodemas anceps).We saw some special things such as a clump of soft corals at the base of the pilings on the boardwalk. We looked but couldn't find any of the usual cowries in this bunch of soft corals.And a string of eggs by either a squid or cuttlefish.
Looks like the babies have hatched already. Because if the babies are still inside, the capsules would be black.

We saw one small nudibranch (Armina babai).Sam later saw a Dendrodoris denisoni! I hope he starts his blog soon so we can see all his lovely photos.

Well, here's a last look at Kok Sheng and the film crew.Bravo to Kok Sheng and the garang team for sharing about Chek Jawa!

Other blog entries about the trip
July's info-packed discovery blog
Sam's wacky, brand new blog ramblings of a peculiar nature

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