Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bleaching at Hantu

This morning, a small team of us checked out Pulau Hantu to see how the reef is responding to the widespread coral bleaching in the region. We first checked the lagoon.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A starry night trip to Cyrene!

I'm not talking about the unreachable stars high up in the sky but the sea stars (aka starfish) that can be found at our reefs. This morning was our first ever night (predawn) trip to Cyrene and it was also considered to be my extended birthday party with the marine life at one of my most favourite reefs in Singapore!

Of course, landscape shots can only be taken after sunrise. How many sea stars can you find in this photograph?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pink spotted sea cucumber identified!

Finally, the sea cucumber paper for the Pink spotted sea cucumber is published in Nature in Singapore.

This is the pink spotted sea cucumber that was not previously recorded in Singapore before until some of us shore explorers started seeing this unknown sea cucumber.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tomato clownfish with bleached anemone

The two videos below show a bleached Bulb-tentacled sea anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) that is still home to the poor little Tomato anemonefish (Amphiprion frenatus). No one knows if the fish will lose its home in the near future.

Tomato clownfish with bleached anemone from Loh Kok Sheng on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

More bleaching at Terumbu Semakau

Just like other reefs of Singapore, coral bleaching is also observed at Terumbu Semakau, a submerged reef just off the Semakau Landfill. This is the second half of the two trips reef-hopping that we made on the same morning!

At the reef edge, facing Semakau, there are quite a number of corals that are bleaching. We estimated it to be around 60% of the corals.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Terumbu Bemban: Reef of fish trap

It's my last day of this long week of low spring tide series. And we had a long low tide today, so much that we visited two separate submerged reefs within the morning.

With a breathtaking sunrise, we were all geared up for our first stop: Terumbu Bemban, a reef that we have not visited before.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Soft coral bleaching at Cyrene Reef

It's been half a year since my last visit to one of my most favourite reefs.... Cyrene Reef!

This morning, there were more people than usual as we have with us personnels from URA and NParks to explore this lovely shore with us.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Checkup on Tanah Merah coral garden

The hearts of many nature lovers broke when Tanah Merah got badly hit by the recent oil spill. To make matters worse, coral bleaching is also going on during this period of time.

Will our coral garden at Tanah Merah survive the double impact? Will we lose what probably could be the best mainland coral site of Singapore? James and I decided to have a look ourselves this morning during a rare super low tide.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The annual Beting Bronok checkup

After a year's wait, we are back to Beting Bronok (BB) to have a look at how it is doing. BB is a submerged reef off Pulau Tekong that will only be exposed at a good low spring tide.

The variety and abundance of marine life here beats many of our northern shores despite being hit by the mass flooding of freshwater in 2007.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Changi- Still as charming as ever

It was worrying when we saw the news report that the oil spill hit Changi and Chek Jawa on 29th May 2010. Will our living northern shores be badly affected? During that period of low tides while I was at the southern shores, there were some concerned shore explorers who went to check these shores.

Finally today there was a chance to see how Changi shore is doing. And I'm happy to say that most of the marine life there looks normal as usual!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Exciting Tioman intertidal shore

Another marine-related activity that one can do at Tioman other than snorkeling will be to explore the intertidal shore.

During a good low tide, the coral reefs will be exposed for a short period of time, which is why checking the tide timings are important. For once, I get to explore the shores during midnight. This is not really that possible in Singapore as our tides are usually during evening or morning.

Snorkeling at Tioman

During end May, my friends and I had a short getaway to Tioman for a nice deserved break!

And one of the activities we did was to snorkel around the coral reefs of Tioman. It was generally a relaxing and fun experience.

Monday, June 7, 2010

NIE field trip to MacRitchie

MacRitchie Reservoir is Singapore's first impounding reservoir and it was built in 1867. It is part of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR), which is the biggest nature reserve in Singapore. The other reservoirs of CCNR include Lower Peirce Reservoir, Upper Peirce Reservoir and Upper Seletar Reservoir.

Serving as water catchment areas, forests surrounding these reservoirs are protected from agriculture activities so as to ensure the quality of water. The reservoir also has a park for recreational purposes and has facilities such as the pavilion and the zig zag bridge as shown here.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

NIE field trip to Sungei Buloh

On 20th May, a bunch of Biology trainee teachers had a field trip visit to Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve. I went about an hour earlier in hope to catch the recent hype of otters and crocodiles that have been regularly sighted.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tanah Merah cleanup on World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day! And the best way to commemorate this day is to do our bit for the environment. Especially so after the gruesome oil spill that occured recently.

19 of us were at Tanah Merah shore this morning for a beach cleanup organized by Andy.

As you can see from this photo, the high shore water level mark is strewn with lots of litter. And our focus today was to remove plastic bottles and other light debris which may be coated with crude oil from the shore.

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