15 January 2011

Otters at Sungei Buloh and mangrove marvels at Kranji

Otters! Always an awesome sight! We were just taking a breather after Dr Yong's talk and while waiting for the Mega Marine Survey to start up nearby. On the main bridge, we saw a pair of otters playing in the stream before heading for their favourite resting site near the Visitor Centre!
It's awesome how we can observe these delightful creatures so near to the entrance of the Reserve!
Here's my badly taken video clip of the Smooth otters (Lutrogale perspicillata).
Shortly after the otter sighting, Wei Ling arrives and we quickly head out to show her the amazing Bakau Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii) at Kranji. As Dr Yong explained at his talk, this tree is globally endangered, and in Singapore it is Critically Endangered. The mangroves here are so pretty and nice!
We also show her the Gedabu (Sonneratia ovata) that are here. These trees are also Critically Endangered in Singapore. Wei Ling takes down their GPS coordinates. Hurray!
We show Wei Ling the large and old Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris) that we saw on our earlier trip. It too is Critically Endangered in Singapore.
There are a lot of Dungun air (Brownlowia tersa) here, and they are starting to bloom! These plants are Endangered in Singapore.
The ground is littered with the flowers of Teruntum (Lumnitzera sp.). These trees are Endangered in Singapore.
Kranji mangroves sure are fascinating with so many precious plants! So it was great to be a part of the second field survey for the Mega Marine Survey at Kranji today! More about it on the Mega Marine Survey blog.

Just as we started the Survey, Wei Ling found a huge patch of the globally rare Beccari seagrass (Halophila beccarii)! So far, in Singapore, it is only found at Sungei Buloh and Chek Jawa. Now also at Kranji! This seagrass is Critically Endangered in Singapore.
It's easy to miss this seagrass as it looks rather dully and scummy at low tide. What a great find!
Near our Survey site there is soil investigation work going on to prepare for development of the area as part of the Sungei Buloh Masterplan.
What an exciting day I had today! So much more to learn and do for our shores!

See also Andy's blog for better video clips of the otters we saw.

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