in February. This morning, I had the pleasure of taking a longer, closer look at this natural treasure.
Our native Bakau pasir (Rhizophora stylosa) is listed as Vulnerable in our Red List and small populations are now only found on a few of our shores. Although there are vast stands of Bakau pasir in the replanted mangrove areas at Pulau Semakau, these planted mangroves are from non-Singapore stock. If you look at these Bakau pasir at Semakau, you can see that the leaves are somewhat yellowish. Our native Bakau pasir tend to be more olive, like these trees at Serapong. The bright green bush in the foreground is Sea lettuce (Scaevola taccada).
Bakau putih (Bruguiera cylindrica) with their small star-shaped flowers.
|Bakau pasir (left photo) and Bakau putih (right).|
mangroves store the most carbon than any other kind of forest!
Lumpy pink sponge (Haliclona cf. baeri). A large patch of blue Elegant branching sponge (Haliclona sp.). Also the Chocolate sponge (Spheciospongia cf. vagabunda) that I more commonly see on our Southern shores.
synaptid sea cucumbers (Family Synaptidae)! This is the first time I've seen this situation on our Southern shores. Although this is quite commonly encountered on our Northern shores.
hydroids (Order Hydrozoa), which are colonial animals.
pink ascidians. Ascidians are animals that are in the same large group as us humans!
Bazillion snails (Batillaria zonalis).
nerites (Family Neritidae) on rocks, lots of Chut-chut (Cerithidea quadrata) on mud and mangrove roots, periwinkles (Family Littorinidae) on mangrove leaves, and a Spotted top shell snail (Trochus maculatus) on the rocks.
halfbeaks (Family Hemiramphidae), some tiny archerfishes (Family Toxotidae), small mudskippers (Family Gobiidae) of various kinds and lots of cardinalfishes (Family Apogonidae).
during the Mega Marine Survey at Sungei Pandan mangrove. Dr Tan Kok Siang had explained that those were eggs of some kind of sea slug.
Built in 1890s by the British military, Berhala Reping was originally a small island and served as a heavy gun battery.
For eight days from 20 Feb 1942, hundreds of Chinese civilians, bound hand and foot, in groups of four, were transported by boats from nearby Tanjong Pagar Docks to the waters across from here. There, Japanese soldiers hurled the bound civilians into the water and opened fire on them. Many bodies drifted ashore along the outer coastline of the then Blakang Mati (now Sentosa) island. Some 300 bodies were then buried by British prisoners of war around the Berhala Reping artillery post.
The dead were among tens of thousands who lost theirlives during the Japanese' Sook Ching operation to purge suspected anti-Japanese elements within Singapore's Chinese population between 18 Feb to 4 Mar 1942.
The forts on Sentosa were decommissioned after the last British troops departed in 1967. Today, the prominent observation towers of Berhala Reping remain untouched and continue to fascinate the unsuspecting golfer on the Serapong course.
Oh dear. Rest in Peace to the unfortunates buried here. Well certainly, the area is now very peaceful. And it is a special site for our natural heritage too!
Thank you to the people who made it possible for me to visit and have a closer look!