I followed them for a while taking photos of what they were doing. Oddly (to me), they did not check the area until they got to the mangrove boardwalk. They then checked and sprayed the ground near the Jejawi Tower.
I'm not sure what chemicals are used in the spray. During the walk today, I could smell the sharp kerosene-like odour of the chemicals all along the Mangrove Boardwalk. I wonder if the chemicals will in fact cause an imbalance in the ecosystem that will eliminate natural predators of the mosquitoes and just make the mosquito problem worse?
Indeed, the mosquitoes at Chek Jawa can be abundant and fierce especially in the back mangroves. But the Naked Hermit Crabs so far have not had much problems. We alert our visitors to be prepared with repellent, and we ourselves dress in longs to minimise bites. The back mangroves is among our favourite stretches with much marine life. And the rocky shore and area adjacent is full of life too. More of what I saw today.
I have spoken to the NParks officers managing Chek Jawa. They say NEA is only supposed to conduct mosquito control on areas not affected by the tides and they will speak to NEA about this. But even in areas above the tidal influence, wildlife such as wild boar may drink the freshwater. Today, I saw the friendly Mama wild boar with her seven piglets and two older offspring hanging around Chek Jawa as usual.
If you can suggest constructive ways to manage this issue, please do leave a comment. Please make polite and constructive comments. I intend to send the link to this post to NEA and NParks as public feedback from those of us who feel spraying chemicals in a special habitat like Chek Jawa is not an ideal solution.
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[Update 8 May 2012: I just received NEA's reply to my correspondence to them and NParks on the issue]