a publication of Sungei Buloh Nature Park

Vol 8 No 3
Dec 2001

chek jawa's
wet wonderland

aqua-tion for life roles of
water in life

where water
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

young ecologists@
sungei buloh nature park

an ode to a turtle
where the water
meets the lands
ramakrishnan r k
assistant park officer

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 mainbridge.

Oriental Sole
(Brachirus orientalis)

Spotted Scat
(Scatophagidae argus)

Kops Glass Perchlet
(Ambassis kopsii)

Humpbacked Mangrove Cardinalfish
(Apogon hyalosoma)

Longtail Tripodfish (Tripodichthys blochii)

some species caught and recorded
during the prawn harvesting demonstration

name size
1. Common Tilapia (Oreochromis mossanbicus) 20 - 24cm
2. Green Chrornide (Etroplus suratensis) 4 - 26.5cm
3. White Tamban (Sardinelia albella) 7cm
4. Indian Anchovy (Stolephorus indicus) 6cm
5. Estuarine Catfish (Mystus gulio) 14.5 - 18cm
6. Striped Eeltail Catfish (Plotosus lineatus) 18 - 21.5cm
7. Estuarine Moray (Gymnothorax tile) 35 - 60.2cm
8. Humpbacked Mangrove Cardinalfish (Apogon hyalosoma) 4.5 - 15cm
9. Spotted Scat (Scatophagidae argus) 14 - 22cm
10. Flathead Gudgeon (Butis butis) 2 - 12.5cm
11. Snakehead Gudgeon (Ophiocara porocephala) 13cm
12. Oriental Sole (Brachirus orientalis) 14cm
13. Kops Glass Perchlet (Ambassis kopsii) 5.9 - 8.5cm
14. Telkara Glass Perchlet (Ambassis vachellii) 2cm
15. Spotted Green Puffer (Tetraodon nigrovirdis) 3.7 - 8cm
16. Longtail Tripodfish (Tripodichthys blochii) 5.5 - 7.5crn
17. Grey Mullet (F. Mulligidae) 22 - 28cm
18. Red Terror (Festae Chiclid) orginally from South America 4.9 - 21.4cm
© Sungei Buloh Nature Park