Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chek Jawa Wetland Tour (Pulau Ubin) - Part II

The Chek Jawa mudflats was the highlight and stepping down the ladder and finally walking on the intertidal flats to see the beautiful sea grass, shore life and the constant crackling sound of the pistol shrimps brings back memories of the time i was there except this time we are only allowed to walk along the sand bank to prevent damaging the seagrass or areas where the marine life are hidden in the soft muddy ground.

Teeming with life, the NParks tour is organised in such a manner that we walk along the sandbank and various living marine creatures are displayed in plastic containers for us to see and sometimes touch. In certain areas at the edge of the seagrass lagoon, if you pay attention and look close enough it plays host to many of this marine creatures as well. I am really happy to see the Common sea star (Archaster typicus), Peacock Anemone, Sandfish Sea cucumber and the pretty cowrie. However it was unfortunate i didn't see the beautiful and large Knobby sea star.

Welcome to Chek Jawa Intertidal Flats

The low tides exposes the rich marine life

Getting down involves climbing down the ladder 


Sea Anemone with a crab near its mouth 

A large fish trapped in the low tide

Peacock or Tube Anemone 

Unknown worm among the seagrass / seaweeds

Sandfish Sea Cucumber

Cowrie

Coastal Horseshoe Crab (its tail is barbed) 
Common sea star (Archaster typicus)

With the rising tides, we made our way back to the board walk. The beautiful Chek Jawa intertidal flats are still very much alive despite the various reclamation projects in the opposite island Tekong. Chek Jawa is for now very much safe and with more people visiting and experiencing this wonderful place, it is unlikely that its status will be changed. However that been said, in the current URA Masterplan, Ubin is classified as open space, while Chek Jawa is classified as Reserved area. This means that Ubin Island is not listed as a conserved area and thus it could change in the future unless at grass root level, people continue to put pressure to continue to conserve Ubin Island and Chek Jawa as a whole and eventually change its status to be a Nature Reserve.

Screenshot of URA Masterpla





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