Here's a short video of the corals found under the jetty. Not all the hard corals here are bleaching.
NOAA's coral reef watch satellite monitoring,Singapore is in the yellow Watch zone. Where we should be prepared for mass coral bleaching.
What is coral bleaching?
Coral are colonies of tiny animals called polyps. Each polyp lives inside a little hard skeleton. The huge colony is made up of the skeletons of countless polyps. The polyps of all reef-building hard corals harbour microscopic, single-celled algae (called zooxanthellae). The polyp provides the zooxanthellae with shelter and minerals. The zooxanthellae carry out photosynthesis inside the polyp and share the food produced with the polyp. Corals generally have white colour skeletons, which is believed to assist in photosynthensis by reflecting light onto the zooxanthellae.
|Patches of this bleaching coral has died, |
and the dead portion is taken over by scummy growths.
|This coral has greyish skeleton that looks melted. |
Disease? Eaten by a nudibranch?
Blue corals on this shore seemed alright. I only saw one with a small patch of white skeleton. Blue corals are not blue and are not hard corals! Technically, they are grouped with soft corals.
disk corals, only one Flowery disk coral was bleaching.
Merulinid corals (previously Family Faviidae) were alright, even those growing on the seawall.
Boulder pore corals were also alright, although a few were very green.
Cauliflower corals growing on the pontoon pillar, they were bleaching. I only saw one small Crinkled sandpaper coral and it was very pale but not bleaching. I didn't see any other kinds of hard corals.
leathery soft corals were bleaching. I saw several small to medium-sized colonies and most were alright, even those growing on the seawall.
Bubble tip anemones and both were bleaching, no anemonefishes in them. About 70% of the Frilly sea anemones were bleaching. I saw several Giant carpet anemones (no anemonefishes), Haddon's carpet anemones and one Wiggly reef star anemone, all were alright. Marcus saw one bleaching Giant carpet anemone on the high shore.
Button zoanthids were bleaching and some of the Sea mat zoanthids had white patches. I saw a few bleaching Fine feathery soft corals. But the few patches of Corallimorphs that I saw were alright.
Feb 2015, I didn't see any Five-spot anemone shrimps, but did see one Tiny carpet anemone.
Spoon seagrass, with tiny leaf blades. The seagrasses look well. There were many Common sea stars, some Moon snails and Fan clams and many Haddon's carpet anemones here. But I didn't see any cerianthids.
Tape seagrass in the small lagoon. The leaf blades were rather short.
Marine Park and managed by NParks. While visits are permitted on Big Sister's Islands, Little Sister's Island is closed to visits and set aside for research. Our visit today was done with permission from NParks.
Feb 2015. We don't often survey this small island. I hope it stays safe until we return. Tomorrow morning we will be checking up on mass coral bleaching at Big Sisters Island.
High res photos of mass coral bleaching in Singapore for free download on wildsingapore flickr
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