01 May 2009

Pulau Semakau with TeamSeagrass

Bright and early at first light, I'm off to Pulau Semakau with TeamSeagrass.It was a regular monitoring PLUS, with an audit by Len and Rudi of Seagrass Watch HQ. After all the work was done, we had a quick look around the shore.
Rudi and I chanced upon this huge and happy Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis) slowly bulldozing through the seagrasses. These snails are quite commonly seen on Pulau Semaku.Heading out to the reef edge, I came across this bluish Knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus). Nearby were several more Knobblies. Some of the TeamSeagrass members who looked at the area said they saw about 10 Knobblies! It's great to know these stars are doing well on Pulau Semakau.Today I made the new Sneaky Camera go swimming. And she did a great job with this submerged Bubble tip anemone (Entacmea quadricolor).

Other sightings include small 'sotong' (possibly the Pygmy squid, Idiosepius sp.) and big 'sotong', a Ceratosoma nudibranch, an Upsidedown jellyfish (Cassiopea sp.) and sting rays.

During their monitoring, Cheng Puay's team came across a Banded filesnake (Acrochordus granulatus) in their transact! The snake was seen to burrow away! What a fantastic observation.

Collin and Belinda saw a Dog-faced water snake (Cerberus rhynchops) while they were near the mangroves! Alas, Collin didn't spot any Estuarine seahorses (Hippocampus kuda) which he is interested in.

Kok Sheng who was guiding on Semakau today, spotted dolphins when they arrived this morning. More on his wonderful creations blog.

Pulau Semakau is indeed home to some fascinating marine life. Which is why it's important to monitor its health, as TeamSeagrass is doing. It is also important to look out for and note early signs that things may not be quite well.
Today, I came across about 10 cases of slight bleaching in hard corals of various sizes. Most only had small patches of bleaching.There was also this single Carpet anemone (probably Stichodactyla haddoni) that was yellowish and sickly looking.

On a lighter note, as we were boarding our ferry, we noticed the crew had adopted an environmentally friendly way to dry their washing!
Another field trip out with TeamSeagrass tomorrow!

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