04 January 2011

Mangroves at Sungei Pandan

Slivers of mangroves line what remains of Sungei Pandan after it got dammed up for the Pandan Reservoir.
Wow, I haven't been here since Jun 2009! I thought we should have a quick look around.

The mangroves here are narrow. The ground is too soft to cross from one edge to the other, so Brandon and I carefully walk along the edges.
Here's a diagram of the Sungei Pandan mangroves from the Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore.
Sungei Pandan, 1987 from the Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore
There were lots and lots of Api-api putih (Avicennia alba) here. But many trees were not flowering.
There was one with these fruits which were quite high up in the canopy. Probably Api-api ludat (Avicennia officinalis). There were also lots of of large old Api-api bulu trees (Avicennia rumphiana).
Brandon spotted a Chengam (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea)!
On the opposite side was a lovely stand of Nipah palms (Nypa fruticans).
There were large Mangrove ferns, probably Acrostichum aureum.
It's much easier looking down for signs of mangrove trees. Today, we saw flowers of various trees such as Api-api (Avicennia sp.), Nyireh (Xylocarpus sp.), Bakau minyak (Rhizophora apiculata) and Perepat (Sonneratia alba). Indeed there were many of these trees in the mangroves.
I have no idea was this fallen bunch of flowers is.
The usual mangrove critters were there. Here's some onch slugs (Family Onchidiidae) that I saw on the trip.
Possibly two different kinds of Mangrove helmet snails (Cassidula sp.), although I didn't come across the other snails of the Family Ellobiidae that are usually common in our mangroves.
There were many Black Chut-chut (Cerithidea quadrata) on the tree trunks.
And a little Black-mouth mangrove nerite (Dostia cornucopia). The snails here seem smaller than those I see in our other mangroves.
I was struck by how litter-free the back area of the mangrove was. This must be the result of the massive clean up conducted by International Coastal Clean up Singapore (ICCS) a few months ago. Here's a post on the effort by staff, students and alumni of ICCS, and another by Project Angel. In 2008, ICCS took out 39 tyres from these mangroves!
But there was a huge pipe on the edge of the mangrove. It wasn't attached to anything.
A spade stuck in a Bakau (Rhizophora sp.) tree.
Towards the upper reaches of the mangrove, there were many mud lobster mounds and it got thicker with lots of different plants. There were also lots of Bakau putih (Bruguiera cylindrica) and the tall Tumu (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza) was still there.
But before we could explore this thoroughly, there was a massive lightning strike nearby! So we headed home.

We didn't get to do much of the mangroves at Sungei Pandan. I must come back and try to do the rest of the area here.

More about Sungei Pandan and the Pandan Reservoir in Kwok Chen Ko's The Forgotten Mangroves of Sungei Pandan.


  1. Feels good to read this; took three years to remove the major debris: http://coastalcleanup.wordpress.com/category/pandan/

    Went back last month and was happy to see no major build up. There's still some plastic in the mud. Pipe we left behind for now, ahem.

  2. Bravo to ICCS!! Yes, the area is strikingly clean! Great job!



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