It’s been a long time since we took a long hard look at the crabs scuttling in the mangroves. There have been name changes, new species and other updates to the taxonomy and habitat changes as well. So three 3rd year students, Lee Bee Yan, Jessica Ker and Wong Ze Lin are taking up the challenge with crab taxonomist Ng Ngan Kee and myself. Their explorations of Mandai mangroves have only just begun.
A month ago, I had left behind a section of the gill net in Mandai Besar mangrove, too exhausted to remove the entire section of what was 200 metres of gill net, long abandoned. The net was bundled around a pole and the mangrove crab crew were asked if they would take look while I stayed back in campus, setting up a lab for the next day.
To my delight, after their research component of their field trip today was over, the very tired trio recovered the net after first rescuing and releasing four horseshoe crabs. Exhausted, they forced themselves to trudge all the way to a nearby dumpster to dispose of the net – well done and welcome to an honourable tradition!
Introducing The Mangrove Crab Crew: Lee Bee Yan, Wong Ze Lin & Jessica Ker
Photos by fellow-undergrad Irenaeus Paul Chia