12 April 2016

Wild 'Nemos' on Sentosa's natural shores

This morning, I did a solo survey of the natural shores that still remain on Sentosa near the Tanjung Rimau beacon. And found 'Nemos' in one of the many Giant carpet anemones there.
There's still lots of seagrasses, a sprinkling of corals and other marine life. And no coral bleaching seen. A check on a rare mangrove tree growing there shows it is recovering from being chopped in half.


I start the survey on the shore behind Underwater World. How nice to see that signs have been put up along the shoreline to share more about shorebirds and other birds.
I was surprised to see many Giant carpet anemones on the shore behind Underwater World. There were also some Haddon's carpet anemones there. Everywhere, there were Frilly anemones on the rocky areas. Most were alright although I saw a few that were pale.
Later on, I came across a Giant carpet anemone that was still submerged in water and found it was full of anemonefishes! I tried to take a video of them but it was hard in the strong waves.
False clown anemonefishes (Amphiprion ocellaris) in Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea)
I start at the western most point of this shore. There used to be corals where the wall is now. They were buried for the reclamation that Resorts World Sentosa stands on now.
It was heartbreaking to watch them bury the reef there in Jul 2007.
Here's a view of some of the corals near the cable car tower that were lost in that reclamation.
There were still some clumps of Tape seagrasses with long leaf blades along this shore. Despite the very murky waters.
I saw larger patches of seagrasses here in my trip in Aug 2015. But today, there were still patches of Sickle seagrass, patches of narrow leaved Needle seagrass and many patches of Spoon seagrass.
There are sandy patches here and there. Although I could not find any Common sea stars, I did find some Cake sand dollars at the sandy patches nearer the beacon.
There are not many corals here. But still, a few large colonies. Like this healthy looking Crinkled sandpaper coral.
The small patch of Branching montipora corals that I saw on my last trip here in Aug 2015 are still there.
I saw many Boulder pore corals, some Branching pore corals, one Blue coral and several Crinkled sandpaper corals. Most were not bleaching, some were a little pale or oddly coloured. But I didn't see some of the other corals that I saw in Aug 2015. Did I miss them because the tide wasn't so low, or were they gone?
As usual, there were many Merulinid (previously Favid) corals of all kinds. Most were alright although a few had pale or yellowish patches.
There are also a few Leathery soft corals on the shore.
The few Leathery soft corals I saw seemed alright although one had rather pale patches. I didn't see the Flowery soft corals that I saw in Aug 2015.
Much of the shore near the beacon is still covered in layers of colourful sponges.
There are also some other kinds of sponges on the shore, though not a lot of clumps.
On the shore near Rasa Sentosa, the Tape seagrasses were cropped but not very short. And lush patches of Spoon seagrass were growing all along the mid-water mark.
There is still a bloom of Bryopsis green seaweed, judging from the large piles washed up on the high shore. But the Sargassum bloom seems to be over.
It was raining at the end of the trip and I notice freshwater gushing out of the seawall. Right in front of the flow, the seagrasses seemed particularly lush and healthy. Nice long tape seagrass, the only patches of Sickle seagrass on the shore near Rasa Sentosa, and really healthy Spoon seagrass.
Here's a view of the drain with the flow of freshwater, and the patches of green seagrasses on the shore. I notice at Labrador, the seagrasses also grow well in front of a similar drain.
Thank to Bian Tan for telling me about a small Nyireh laut tree growing near the Siloso pill box. He was most distressed in Dec 2015, to find that it had been chopped in half. Nyireh laut is Critically Endangered in Singapore and we probably have only about 7 trees on our shores.
I was relieved to see that new leaves are growing on the stump.
The big mother Nyireh laut tree is turning orange. I think this is a normal seasonal thing. The daughter tree nearby seems alright too.
Hurray, the line of floating 'security barrier' installed in 2012 that used to smash up and down on the reef has been removed. Only the drums that float in the water remain. The big square concrete block that used to anchor the drums on the reef is still there. Heng Pei Yan saw broken drums when she last checked in Aug 2013.
Alas, I saw two fish traps on the shore. One was much further away. They are tied to a rock and a long rope leading to the high shore. I also saw fish traps here on my trip in Aug 2015.
Smooth natural pebbles cover large stretches of this shore. Looks pretty, but can be awful to walk on. I am proud to say that today, for the first time since I broke my foot 2 and a half years ago, I walked this shore without a walking stick!
Let's hope this beautiful shore and all the precious wildlife on it stays safe until I can visit again.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ria for checking on the Nyireh Laut. So glad it is recovering!

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