Today, I had a closer look at some of the special plants found at Pulau Semakau, after setting up TeamSeagrass monitoring there.
This is the Critically Endangered Bonduc (Caesalpinia bonduc) and it had lots and lots of fruits today! As far as we know, there are only three of these prickly climbers: on Pulau Semakau, Lazarus Island and Pulau Senang. When the pod ripens it splits open to reveal a bluish round marble-like seed. Today I saw this insect on the seed. Was it eating it? So much more to learn about our shores!
Api-api jambu (Avicennia marina) on this shore. It was doing very well with many 'fruits' and also flowers. Pulau Semakau has many of these Critically Endangered mangrove trees.
Bakau pasir (Rhizophora stylosa). The flower of this plant has a long style (the stick like thing poking out the centre of the flower).
Bakau minyak (Rhizophora apiculata) has lots of prop and stilt roots so it looks like a lady with a long skirt, holding the skirt up to show her ankles. A handy tip to identify these trees from a distance!
Hypselodoris nudibranch, like the one we saw at Tuas many years ago. The rest of the team also saw other nudibranchs, flatworms and other interesting critters.
Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica) that I saw on my previous monitoring trip is still there. It seems to be doing well. Later I found out the team saw several more. That's nice to know!
Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea)! Good to know that these large sea anemones are still doing well on the shore.
Codium green seaweed (Codium sp.).
Tape seagrasses (Enhalus acoroides) are blooming today! The water was dotted with the tiny white male flowers that float. Sadly, from what the rest of the team saw today, it seems that the seagrasses on Semakau were much less abundant on this trip than previously. Also, some of the reading suggests that the Tape seagrass on Semakau is cropped short. A similar situation we encountered on Cyrene Reef, as well as at Terumbu Semakau. Oh dear. Well, this is why it is important to monitor our seagrasses!
TeamSeagrass is a volunteer programme that monitors many of our shores including Pulau Semakau, Chek Jawa and Cyrene Reef. Here's more about how to join TeamSeagrass.