05 June 2023

Changi with signs of dugong

Under a full moon, I return to this shore for the first time in two years. Some of the best seagrass meadows are found all along Changi Beach.
Horse mussel (Modiolus sp.) at Changi Carpark 7, Jun 2023
Alas, Horse mussels continue to dominate part of this shore. But seagrasses are still growing well and we spot dugong feeding trails as well as our favourite marine life.

Today, I saw much fewer colourful sea cucumbers than in the past, with a more or less equal number of Pink warty sea cucumbers and Thorny sea cucumbers. There were also many medium sized Haddon's carpet anemones. It was nice to many large White sea urchins. The shore is still lively with lots of Orange striped hermit crabs of various sizes. There were many large Fan shell clams, which provide a hard surface for sponges, and other animals to cling to. When they die, the clam provides shelter for crabs. and small animals.
The rest of the team of course spot all the spectacular critters that I completely miss. Like the little Knobbly sea stars and other sea stars and echinoderms. Kelvin saw two snake-eels! Which we first started to see on Changi in 2021. Although we didn't see any octopuses, Kelvin saw a cuttlefish and cephalopod eggs. The usual little fishes, crabs were also seen. As well as slugs of all kinds. Check out their album for their photos.
Photos by KelvinYong and Richard Kuah

We saw furrows that might be dugong feeding trails in various parts of the shore. The last time we saw such signs were on our survey in Apr 2018 and May 2017.
As on our last survey here in Aug 2020horse mussels still dominate the shore at the low water mark and below. We first noticed this during our Feb 2019 survey and the clams were still there in Aug 2019 and Nov 2019. The patch is about 15m by 15m in the middle of the intertidal area exposed at about 0.1m. There is hardly any seagrass growing among the mussels.
Horse mussel (Modiolus sp.) at Changi Carpark 7, Jun 2023
But seagrasses are growing lush beyond the mussel beds. On large sand bars to the left and to the right of the mussel beds.
Sunrise over Changi
The seagrass situation seems similar to what I observed on our last survey in Jan 2021, which was similar to the situation in Aug 2020 and Nov 2019. Nearer the high shore, there were dense growths of Spoon seagrass with small and large leaves, as well as Needle seagrass with narrow leaves. I only saw very few Fern seagrass today. There were also many patches of Needle seagrass with broad leaves, which I first observed in Feb 2019. The small patch of Smooth ribbon seagrass near the high shore is still there, and I also saw some Noodle seagrass which I first saw in Aug 2018.

What is the fate of these shores?

There doesn't seem to be a change in 2013 plans to reclaim all of Pasir Ris, all of Changi from Carpark 1 to Carpark 7 and beyond, and reclaim Chek Jawa and Pulau Sekudu. These appear to remain in place in the Long-Term Plan Review. Including plans for a road link that starts at Pasir Ris, crosses to Pulau Ubin, right across Chek Jawa to Pulau Tekong, and back to the mainland at Changi East.

See Changi shores for yourself before it's gone!

They are easy to get to, and enjoyed by many people. But it remains rich in a variety of marine life. More details in "Changi - an easy intertidal adventure for the family".

Photos by others on this survey

Kelvin Yong

Richard Kuah

Che Cheng Neo

Loh Kok Sheng


Related Posts with Thumbnails