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.

Another disheartening sight will be just a stone's throw away, the shore just off the replanted mangroves of Semakau. As you can see here, many of the corals are also bleached, which ironically also made it more prominent and easier for us to spot from far.

Among the bleaching corals are the Brain anchor corals (Euphyllia ancora).

The Ridged plate coral (Merulina sp.).

And a couple of the Circular mushroom corals. One of the two is actually overturned, a bad thing for the coral.

Just like the other shores, not all is lost, there are corals that are still unbleached like these boulder Favid hard corals (Family Faviidae).

I'm glad to also come across this family of four healthy-looking Tongue mushroom corals (Herpolitha sp.). Unfortunately, I also came across bleached ones too.

This is a large colony of Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.). Similar to the corals at Tanah Merah, lettuce corals seem to be quite tough towards coral bleaching.

In addition to the corals, I'm glad to have found this pretty in pink sea fan at a darker part of the reef edge that is unbleached.

Anemones wise- all the Pizza anemones (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum) show signs of bleaching.

This Leathery anemone (Heteractis crispa) also seems to be fading its brown coloration.

The Bulb-tentacled sea anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) that is bleached completely white is still home to the poor little Tomato anemonefish (Amphiprion frenatus). Hopefully, the anemone will regain its photosynthetic algae and thrive again for the nemo to have a home.

The pink-purple Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica) that we came across are still unbleached.

How cute it is to have a pair of False clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) trapped in the tiny pool where the tentacles lie. Imagine during higher tides, the huge anemone will be standing and that the fishes will be swimming on top of it.

Sam found a pleasant surprise for me- a very gorgeous looking adult Cushion star (Culcita novaeguinea)! It lies at the reef edge just opposite the tracks of Semakau Landfill.

As for Chay Hoon and I, we found a pair of the Tiger-tailed seahorse (Hippocampus comes).

This is the other seahorse that was spotted. I've not seen seahorses in the southern shores for one year... Hahaha!

Last but not least, James found this Furry sea hare (Stylocheilus sp.) that may be sometimes mistaken for the Hairy sea hare (Bursatella leachii). The furry sea hare does not have large 'hairy' projections on the oral tentacles and it has fine lines on the body.

And finally finally finally, the tide returned and we finally called it a day! It was a long day of low tide trip in the hot sun visiting two reefs! I was very exhausted but it was indeed fruitful.

Another weekend is coming and I'll be back on the shores.

More photos of the day's trip here:

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...