|For thousand of years, humans have depended
on the wetlands for their survival. Most of the great ancient civilizations,
such as those of Egypt, India, and Mesopotamia depended on the wetlands
around their great rivers for their food.
When these areas were exhausted through over cultivation, many of
these great empires also failed. Even without human involvement, wetlands
are one of the most productive natural sources of food in the world.
Coastal wetlands are often called 'aquatic farmlands' because of their
importance as spawning grounds for fish, crab, shrimps and edible
shellfish, such as telescopium, giant mud clam, nerita and green mussel.
The early settlers to Singapore also depended on mangrove wetlands
and river for their food and income. The rivers also attracts some
special feathered and furry creatures. They come, not as passerby
to admire the cool, inviting water, but as predators. The startling
cry of the collared kingfisher may be the only sign that this feathery
predator is nearby. And sometimes the splashing water and sharp cries
of a family of smooth otters can be beard. This animal dives underwater
for several minutes at a time to hunt for fish. Others like the herons;
bitterns and waders depend on the puddle of water and exposed mud
during low tide to feed on the array of organisms.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the interesting fish
that you can observe at Sungei Buloh Nature Park. To locate these
fish, one has to heed the tide that plays an important part in their
presence along the river. At high tide, most fish move inward to the
mangrove to keep away from other predator fish. As the tide retreats,
they move out to the pocket of stream along the river and this would
be a favourable time to watch them. Other key places you can watch
thern are near the sluice gate, platform, below the boardwalk and
Kops Glass Perchlet
Humpbacked Mangrove Cardinalfish
Longtail Tripodfish (Tripodichthys blochii)