Monday, July 28, 2014

Our first Marine Park on Sisters' Island

With the news release of Singapore's first Marine Park at the Sisters' Island, the two islands have received a lot of limelight. According to National Parks Board, the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park will be a platform for outreach, educational, conservation and research activities related to our native marine biodiversity. The location was chosen due to its variety of habitats including coral reefs, sandy shores and seagrass areas.

For regular trippers who have been surveying the Sisters' Island, visiting the Big Sisters' Island today was more like meeting an old friend despite its new status. :)

One of the iconic features of the Sisters' Island would be the frequent sightings of the seahorses. In fact this is a pregnant papa! For seahorses, the male broods the young in their pouch.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Any sponge at Changi rocky shore?

On the last of our six-day consecutive field trip series, Ria and I visited a natural rocky shore of Changi to check if the recent sponge-less situation at Chek Jawa and Pulau Sekudu has also affected the mainland shores. 

We were glad to have escaped the Sumatra squall that passed Singapore earlier in the morning and thus was able to continue with our survey on the rocky shore.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Coral bleaching check at Terumbu Bemban

This morning we were out for our first and only southern trip for the series to check out the coral bleaching situation. How are the corals in our waters doing?

Terumbu Bemban was chosen as today's field trip site because it has a stunning reef edge crowded with lots of corals. And from this photo, most of the corals seem to be alright!

Monday, June 16, 2014

How is Beting Bronok doing?

Beting Bronok (BB) is a remote and special reef located in the north. It has been about 3 years since my last visit and I have been hearing updates from recent trips that it is slowly doing not as well as compared to the past. How is this shore now? And did the recent sponge-less situations at Chek Jawa and Pulau Sekudu affect this reef as well?

Today's super low spring tide crosses over into the dawn and we could have a bright daylight view of the reef with a picturesque view of Johor in the background.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Coral rubble survey at Pulau Sekudu

With permissions from National Parks Board, we were back at Pulau Sekudu to survey the coral rubble on a lower spring tide. I ended this trip with mixed feelings with both exciting and not-so-happy finds.

What's exciting would be my first time seeing the boxfish! Many thanks to Marcus for spotting it! Don't you think it is very cute? :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The 'S' encounters at Chek Jawa

Here we go again! Another 2am wake up call this morning and off we were to Chek Jawa for an intertidal survey which we encountered many 'S's! What are these 'S's?

The first 'S' is a pleasant one and that would be the sunrise that accompanied the end of our survey. The lovely glow of the sun from the horizon over Johor and Tekong and the lush spread of seaweed with tidal pools make Chek Jawa like the Garden of Eden.

Sekudu survey with interesting sightings

The long awaited June Holidays is here where I will be able to do our morning intertidal surveys for 6 days back to back! The first trip is always the hardest as we have to wake up the earliest (at 2am) for our survey at Pulau Sekudu.

Despite visiting our shores for several times, I'm excited to still see creatures for the first time such as this beautiful nudibranch found by Ria. Chay Hoon has kindly identified this slug as Unidentia angelvaldesi.

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