A small team check Pulau Semakau for abandoned driftnets and traps this morning for Project Driftnet. It was also a chance for me to check up on the health of the reefs here.
The nine of us decided to split up into three teams so that we can thoroughly check three separate areas of Pulau Semakau for abandoned nets and traps. Brandon, Travis and I are doing the North-west section nearest Pulau Hantu.
mantis shrimp (Order Stomatopoda). But what is it doing on the road? How did it get there?
visited recently. So I was hoping to encounter a similarly rich and healthy reef on Pulau Semakau.
the bleaching event a year ago.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) are common on Pulau Semakau. I noticed that many colonies had white portions.
Brain corals (Family Mussidae). Some of them seemed bleached, with white or flourescent yellow portions.
Pore corals (Porites sp.). Some of those on Pulau Semakau were rather pale, though not bleaching outright.
Disk corals (Turbinaria sp.). Some were rather pale, while others were nice and colourful.
Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.) are also common here, and some were pale or yellowish.
Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.) as these corals suffered badly during the bleaching event last year.
Terumbu Semakau and Terumbu Raya which lies off Semakau.
Some less commonly seen corals that I saw included a few small colonies of Pebble coral (Astreopora sp.). One was a little white at the tops.
Ridged plate corals (Merulina sp.).
Galaxy coral (Galaxea sp.) and one small Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.).
Sunflower mushroom corals (Heliofungia actiniformis) and they seemed healthy.
Cabbage coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi)? I seldom see this hard coral on our shores.
Leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) of various kinds. None were obviously bleaching although some appeared a little less 'lively', with the polyps contracted even though the colony was submerged.
Carpet corallimorphs (Order Corallimorpharia). And a nice patch of Ridged corallimorphs that I don't often see, my first entry of this for Pulau Semakau.
Giant anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea), only one with a clownfish which unfortunately was very shy. Also one Bubble tip anemone (Entacmea quadricolor), and several Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.). None of them were obviously bleaching, although some of the Frilly sea anemones were rather flourescent.
separate post on the fishes we saw. Here's some of the other animals we saw.
The Semakau shore has lots of Noble volutes (Cymbiola nobilis) so it's not surprising to see one crawling about among the seagrasses. Travis also spotted some squids (Family Loliginidae) and we came across several egg ribbons of slugs.
Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) are not as common on Pulau Semakau as they are on Cyrene Reef. So it's nice to see one today.
Cryptic sea stars (Cryptasterina sp.) are still here. So far, I have only seen them on Pulau Semakau.
Tellin clam (Family Tellinidae) on Pulau Semakau.
sponges of all kinds, colours and shapes!
in 2009. Today, we finally get a chance to remove all of it.
their effort in 2009. Bravo!
Bonduc (Caesalpina bonduc). This is the only known female Bonduc in Singapore and it seems to be flowering and fruiting. Hurray!
Api-api Jambu (Avicennia marina). It seemed fine as was blooming and fruiting well.
Seashore pandan (Pandanus tectorius) is blooming! I didn't have time to observe more closely what kind of insects pollinate this humungous plant. It was already very late and we were the last to leave the shore.
It was great to be on the trip today with Andy, Mei Lin, Jocelyne, Brandon, Travis, Rene, Marcus and Nicole. Thanks to everyone for being there, especially Jocelyne who celebrates her birthday today! The other two teams also had exciting encounters (snakes, another seahorse, jellies of all kinds) and also found nets and traps. I'm sure they will blog soon!
Posts by others on this trip