Cyrene lies in the middle of the industrial triangle made up of the massive industries on Jurong Island, huge refineries on Pulau Bukom and the world-class container terminals at Pasir Panjang.
Knobbly sea stars. Cyrene not only has large numbers of adults, but also many juveniles. This shows that Cyrene is a good place for a sustainable population of these sea stars.
Pentaceraster sea stars. These are only common on Cyrene and were first recorded for Singapore from Cyrene.
Common sea stars as usual. And many of them were in mating position, with the male interlocking his arms over the female on the bottom.
Warty sea cucumber found by Jonathan, it appears to be our first sighting of this in the Southern islands.
Thorny sea urchin found by Ian. There also were lots and lots of White Salmacis sea urchins in various sizes.
Diadema sea urchins among the seagrasses.
Brown sea cucumber. We also saw many Long black sea cucumbers in the rocky areas.
Grey bonnet snail, which we used to see is large numbers at Cyrene.
Polka dot sea anemone on Cyrene, usually only one per trip.
Acorn worms are burrowing animals. We seldom see more of them aside from the grey coils of 'processed sand' that they excrete. This is the longest bit of the back of the yellow worm that I've ever seen.
How are the seagrasses doing at Cyrene?
I dread checking out the deep pool where Tape seagrasses used to be so lush that NParks could conduct regular surveys of the rarey fishes that live there. In 2010, the seagrasses drastically declined (together with general loss all over Cyrene) and the pool turned into a sandy one with hardly any seagrass. Finally, five years later, on this trip I was so relieved to see much more seagrasses growing in the deep pool.
Tape seagrasses here will recover to their full length soon!
Jun 2009, with Jeff and Collin of NParks doing a survey of the abundant variety of fishes found in the pool.
Aug 2010: The pool is still full of lush long Tape seagrass. In this photo, an NPark's team is gently doing a survey of the fishes that are found in the pool. More in this blog post. They also surveyed this pool in
May 2010: NParks continued their fish survey and found many different kinds here.Back to this trip, I checked the seagrasses in the middle of Cyrene and they seemed to be better than the situation I saw on our last trip in Feb 2015. There were still patches of Smooth ribbon seagrass although the leaf blades are rather short.
Nov 2010: The seagrasses at Cyrene were not doing well at all! Most of the Tape seagrass blades (Enhalus acoroides) were broken off very close to the sand surface. In the lagoon where NParks does their survey of pipefishes, there is virtually no more seagrasses. Previously the lagoon was thick with Tape seagrasses.
May 2012: This is what it looks like now. A rather clear pool with the white sandy base showing, and no long Tape seagrasses. Although the Tape seagrasses are still there (but short) and there are some other kinds of seagrasses growing at the bottom, and especially at the shallower edges.
Mar 2012: The big pool which used to be full of long lush Tape seagrass remains bare of Tape seagrasses. But other seagrass species are growing on the sandy bottom.
Aug 2012: There are still lots of seagrasses at the edges of the pool. But in the deeper part of pool, it's very bare of seagrasses. Tape seagrasses here are still cropped short, with not much of other kinds of seagrasses.
Apr 2013: We checked the pool in the middle of the Reef and it's still rather bare. Although there are other kinds of seagrasses especially around the shallower edges, the Tape seagrasses here are still very short, even in deeper parts of the pool.
Tape seagrasses among them.
Noodle seagrasses, less often encountered, grow thickly in some patches at Cyrene.
Posts by others on this trip
- Loh Kok Sheng on facebook and on his blog.
- Jianlin Liu on facebook.
- Jonathan Tan on facebook.
- Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.
- Ian Siah on facebook.