The first intertidal fieldtrip of 2014 begins at Chek Jawa. With heavy rain pouring almost daily throughout November to December and the eastern part of peninsular Malaysia being hit by floods, we were worried if Chek Jawa will be affected by large amount of freshwater flowing down the Johor river. Chek Jawa is located on the eastern end of Pulau Ubin where discharge from the nearby Johor River is directed at.
|Location of Johor River mouth.|
In Jan 2007, a mass death of marine animals took place at Chek Jawa. Animals such as sea cucumber, sea stars, carpet anemones, peacock anemones died in large numbers. It was a devastating sight for many who visited Chek Jawa during this period. Read about the first account of the mass death and the cause.
1. "Mass Death at Chek Jawa", 18 Jan 07 on the ubin volunteers blog
2. "What caused the mass death?"
The GOOD news is that Chek Jawa looks fine from today's trip. I did not notice any signs of unusual deaths but rather, Chay Hoon, Mei Lin and I witnessed the birth of a baby cuttlefish! We were just checking the inside of an egg case when the little fellow decided to emerge from its case. It was a moment of great excitement.
|Photos by Mei Lin.|
|Peacock anemone of neon green.|
|Another peacock anemone with banded tentacles.|
This is my first time noticing this purple haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) after having visited Chek Jawa many times. There were a few of such colour seen.
|Purple carpet anemone.|
|Pimply mangrove anemone.|
|Plain sand star|
|Plain sand star (underside)|
|Very tiny cake sea star|
|Very tiny cake sea star (underside)|
|Tiny biscuit sea star|
|Tiny biscuit sea star (underside)|
|Orange sea star (Biscuit? Cake? sea star)|
|Little ruby flatworm.|
|Brown striped flatworm|
|Paper bubble shell snail (overview)|
|Paper bubble shell snail (front)|
|Paper bubble shell snail (underside)|
|Unknown nudibranch (white)|
|There are two of the unknown nudibranch. |
Can you find where the second nudibranch is located?
There were other amazing large sea slugs encountered today such as the denison's nudibranch (Dendrodoris denisoni), fugly nudibranch (Actinocyclus papillatus), sponge nudibranch (Atagema spongiosa), Gymnodoris nudibranch (Gymnodoris sp.) and ornate leaf slug (Elysia ornata). Chay Hoon has more photos of other sea slugs on her Facebook album.
|Denison's nudibranch (overview)|
|Denison's nudibranch (rhinophores)|
|Denison's nudibranch (feathery gills)|
|Denison's nudibranch (underside)|
|Sponge nudibranch (overview)|
|Sponge nudibranch (can you see the rhinophores?)|
|Sponge nudibranch (underside)|
|Fugly nudibranch (overview)|
|Fugly nudibranch (feathery gills)|
|Fugly nudibranch (spot the rhinophores)|
|Fugly nudibranch (underside)|
|Ornate leaf slug|
|Blue-spotted fantail ray|
|Sand bubbler crab|
On the rather sad note, the smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) seemed to look strange. Many of them were blackish and there were patches of them with pale-yellowish leaf blades near the base. I am not sure what is going on.
|Smooth ribbon seagrass|
Unfortunately, the intertidal area is not opened for public access. However, the boardwalk is opened daily from 8 am to 6 pm.
This survey trip is made possible with support, permission and permit by National Parks Board (NParks).
Posts by others:
Chay Hoon - Photos on Facebook
Kok Sheng - Photos on Facebook
Mei Lin - Chek Jawa Survey (04012014)