8 No 3
aqua-tion for life roles of
water in life
meets the lands
fishes of the Park
dispersal by h2o
seeds dispersed by water
some interesting notes on the pacific golden plover
10th international coastal cleanup 2001 and 5th mangrove cleanup
sungei buloh nature park
an ode to a turtle
What is a natural beach?
Can one be found in Singapore?
One answer might be: 'It should be a natural beach (not man-made) surrounded by forests and home to many kinds of animals and native plants. And the marine life should be rich; with starfishes, sea horses, crabs and fishes all thriving in a community amongst seaweed and sea grass beds that hug the sandy shore. A natural beach is a wilderness area full of "living wonders" waiting to be explored and discovered'. To a naturalist the answer seems obvious. A natural beach is indeed one full of natural wonders. We do have one wilderness beach that was discovered recently in Singapore - Chek Jawa. Surprise! Surprise!
Chekjawaa natural haven comprising of six distinct habitats - coastal forest, mangrove, sandy beach, sandflats (lagoon), coral rubble and a tiny island (Pulau Sekudu or Frog island)quietly tucked away at the easternmost corner of Pulau Ubin. Since its discovery late last year, Chek jawa has charmed and captivated all who dared ventured out along a two-hour (by foot) dirt track.
The list of wonders in Chek Jawa is incrediblestick insects, Flying Dragons, Oriental Pied Hornbills, junglefowls, wild boars, otters, Seashore Nutmeg Trees, Sea Anemones, Seahorses, nudibranchs, sea cucumbers, Cow Fishes, octopuses, stingrays, starfishes, decorator crabs, shellfishes, sea grasses, seaweed, and sponges, etc. And the list is ever growing! During low tide, everyone seemed to see something that others did not, especially in the sandflat at the lagoon.
What cannot be 'seen' are also the millions of organisms in the sand and mud. These are tiny and microscopic, but highly significant in the chemistry and well-being of the lagoon. And there are the bigger marine animalssuch as the sea horse, sea cucumber, tube anemone, sea pen, colourful sponges, etc which you don't need diving gear to seejust walk on the sandbars or around the 'touch- pools' within the lagoon during low tide! During your walks, you may even be greeted by a friendly resident wild-pig.
Chek Jawa is a unique nature heritage richly endowed in all things natural, located right at our own backyard. A midget in size, only about one square kilometre in area, but it packs a big punch in terms of biodiversity and having six natural habitats (communities) within this small area.
Chek Jawa's is rare and has an identity and character of its ownit reveals and transforms itself into a natural WETwonderLAND during low tide. When the tide comes in, it is fully submergedits secrets and treasures are again hidden, waiting yet to be discovered another day.
Chek Jawa is an open gym and classroom, and a perfect poet's corner for "body, mind and spirit" all in one. Chek Jawaa place in the heartyours truly.
© Sungei Buloh Nature Park