14 October 2011

Big snail at Chek Jawa and Kandelia candel on Changi!

Today I saw the gianormous Baler snail for the first time on Chek Jawa!
Earlier in the day, I also found on Changi Beach, propagules of the rare mangrove tree Kandelia candel.

Chay Hoon (and probably others) did see the Baler snail (Melo melo) at Chek Jawa before. I've also seen this snail on Changi. Chay Hoon saw one at Chek Jawa eating a Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis)! Today, several of us saw the beautiful Noble volute too.
I saw many healthy looking Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) but not as many as before the mass deaths in 2007. Today, there were also lots of Swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi). And I noticed lots of Lined bead anemones (Diadumene lineata) on the boardwalk.
I was glad to see many Garlic bread sea cucumbers (Holothuria scabra). These sea cucumbers were found to play an important role seagrass health. They were also badly affected during the 2007 mass deaths on Chek Jawa. I saw one Ball sea cucumber (Phyllophorus sp.) and a few Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis). I did see a few Sand stars (Astropecten sp.) but no other sea stars.
I was out at Chek Jawa with Siti and other volunteers and students for seagrass work. And we did work hard until sunset! It was on the way home that one of the team spotted the Baler snail! Hurray!
Before I headed out to Chek Jawa, I made a quick stop to look at the mangrove seeds and seedlings washed ashore at Changi. There were lots of them. But oh no! The diligent cleaners were busy cleaning them up. The cleaners were very nice and tried to pass me some of what they thought were nicer seedlings. But I didn't want to interfere with their hard work.
So I hurried ahead of them to try to pick out as many of the special seeds and seedlings that I could. Today, there were lots of Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora) propagules. There wasn't much trash actually.
Here's some of the special seeds and seedlings I saw today.
(A) Kandelia candel (B) unidentified hairy pod
(C) unidentified lumpy pod (D) Heritiera littoralis
The nicest surprise were several long seedlings of Pisang pisang (Kandelia candel). A closer look at the top part of the propagule. The last of these plants on the mainland was tragically killed by litter. So it's good to know that propagules are landing on our shores. Hopefully, one will find a happy home somewhere on mainland Singapore!
I realise the lumpy pod is NOT Dungun because today I saw several Dungun fruits (Heritiera littoralis) with the typical fluted ridge in the middle. Oops, I wonder what the lumpy pod is?
I also found this strange hairy pod. I have no idea what it is.
Soon it was time for me to join the rest for the Chek Jawa trip. The cleaners have already cleared a large area of the beach! There was ominous thunder and lightning, but fortunately the weather cleared and we had a safe trip to Chek Jawa.
Much earlier in the day, I attend an effort by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center (NVPC) to put together a video clip featuring a wide range of volunteers. I'm touched that they invited me to be a part of this. I hope I did a good job. Apparently, this clip is expected to run SMRT and other places. Hopefully this will encourage more people to volunteer!
Tomorrow, back on the shores again!


  1. Hi Ria,

    The lumpy pod is Cynometra ramiflora, also a coastal tree.

  2. WOW, thanks for this ID! How exciting!



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