The Seagrasses of Chek Jawa

Seagrass monitoring – my favourite!

I woke up bright and early to go Chek Jawa with TeamSeagrass last Sunday (13 May 2012). For the last time (in a long while).

Feline company at 7.45am in the morning

Seems to like the bags of equipment a lot.

First to greet us upon reaching Chek Jawa Visitor Centre are the Wild Boars (Sus scrofa)

Wild boar mummy at NParks Visitor Centre!

With her brood in tow

After spending some 5-10 minutes acting as paparazzi, we got down to business!

Rachel Lim from NParks and Siti Yaacub from NUS. Siti is giving a briefing to the first-time volunteers.

With no time to lose (time and tide waits for no man), with the briefing done we  headed to the shore.

Chek Jawa (:

The jetty used to have an extension but has since been removed! I wonder why…

Siti giving a practical demonstration on what seagrasses are and what are not.

First time volunteers Mei Lin (if I’m not wrong??) and Rebecca Loh (whom I met earlier at the Pasir Ris MMS) scrutinising the ID sheet that Ria Tan from WildSingapore prepared

“Is this seagrass?” (The answer is no, by the way)

Estimating seagrass percentage cover using the quadrat

Len McKenzie (and Rudi on the left) from Seagrass-Watch (our data goes to them!) joins us for this trip and reiterates that it is just an estimation, so no need to spend 30 minutes at one quadrat!

With that quick crash course on seagrass monitoring, all of us volunteers are good to go! The first timers are partnered with the veterans, just to make sure.

My buddies for this transect, Rebecca and Cindy Ong, hard at work!

Jin Yi Feng and Cheryl Koh, juniors of mine from doing the seagrass project in RGS, working hard at their transect too!

Having finished with our transect, we went to explore the rest of Chek Jawa – a rare privilege, as access to Chek Jawa is restricted!

Peacock anemone.

Mangrove whipray

Sand dollar

Sand dollar trail

Bird prints!

Pink thorny sea cucumber

Sea cucumber desperately trying to bury itself to escape the scorching heat and desiccation

Geographic sea hare


Hermit crab

Another hermit crab

More hermit crabs

Naked hermit crab (this guy looked dead or dying)

Carpet sea anemone

Bleaching carpet sea anemone :/ (Ria has a post on it here)

Sea pen (is it usually exposed like that?)

Fan worm?

Sure looks like it, but I never knew they were bright green! This guy seemed to have gotten uprooted too :/

We seem to have some strange incidences of animals being uprooted. Lots of Smooth sea cucumbers lying all around exposed as well, as Ria pointed out in her blogpost.

Strange spaghetti-like thing?

And I realised that all these times I’ve been going down to the shore, even on seagrass monitoring trips, I usually take photos of the animals. Probably the seagrasses felt a great injustice. Hence, this time I made it a point to take lots of photos of seagrasses. (But you know, they look about the same after a while, so here’s a selection. Also, it’s hard to take nice photos when you can’t see what you’re taking and the water mucks up easily)


Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata)

More ribbon grass

Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis)

Look so pretty (:

Lots of spoon seagrass!

Fern seagrass (Halophila spinulosa)

The intruder (seaweed) amongst the seagrass.

Spoon seagrass among Needle seagrass (Halodule uninervis)?

Seagrass. 😀

And so that’s about it, this is my second last TeamSeagrass trip! ~feeling nostalgic~ I will end off with Cyrene Reef in August – look forward to it already!

This shot is clearly posed (no transect tape!). But I need to end with a field photo of me doing seagrass monitoring right? Photo credit: Jin Yi Feng

To volunteer with TeamSeagrass (a lot less muddy than Mega Marine Survey I assure you), check out the blog here!

Ria has also posted on this trip on the TeamSeagrass blog, read it here!

For more photos of the trip:
Johnson Ong’s album
Jerome Pang’s album
Jin Yi Feng’s album


About Jocelyne Sze

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
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One Response to The Seagrasses of Chek Jawa

  1. Pingback: First monitoring with Teamseagrass! « MY GAP YEAR

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