Here's a video of the mass coral bleaching on one small part of the reef that I surveyed.
This was not unexpected. From the NOAA's coral reef watch satellite monitoring shows that Singapore is in the 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.
leathery soft corals and Asparagus flowery soft corals.
leathery soft corals that I saw were bleaching.
leathery soft corals with a hard coral that is just starting to bleaching.
leathery soft coral next to a hard coral that is not bleaching.
leathery soft corals next to one that is not.
Brain corals I saw were bleaching.
Anemone corals and Small goniopora corals I saw were not bleaching, although some were oddly coloured. I only saw one bleaching Anemone coral colony.
Cauliflower corals I saw were bleaching. The one Sandpaper coral I saw was very yellow.
Boulder pore corals I saw were alright. About 20% had bleaching spots, and only a few were completely bleaching.
Flowery disk corals I saw were bleaching. The other half had odd colours, only a few were their usual colours.
Disk corals I saw were alright with only a few that were yellowish.
Pebble corals I saw seemed alright. The Branching Montipora corals growing in the seagrasses were mostly alright, although smaller fragments were bleaching.
Merulinid corals I saw, about 60% were completely bleached.
Asparagus flowery soft corals that I saw were completely bleached. And other flowery soft corals were also bleaching.
Haddon's carpet anemones I saw were not bleaching. But most of these were bleaching: Giant carpet anemones, Snaky anemones, Frilly anemones.
zoanthids bleaching too.
Cheese cake nudibranch.
Knobbly sea stars remain abundant on Cyrene. Including small ones, which shows that the population on the reef is self sustaining.
Vermillion flatworms feeding on ascidians growing commonly in the seagrass meadows.
White sea urchins, some were huddled together is large numbers. Common sea stars were also plentiful, many in 'mating position'.
Tape seagrasses that were cropped short, although I saw many clumps with long leaf blades.
dugong feeding trail on the seagrass meadows of Cyrene?! I was also glad that none of the team observed fish traps or nets on Cyrene today.
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. And yet it has rich marine life.
High res photos of mass coral bleaching in Singapore for free download on wildsingapore flickr
Posts by others on this trip
- Marcus Ng on facebook.
- Ian Siah on facebook.
- Richard Kuah on facebook.
- Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.
- Lisa Lim on facebook.
- Jonathan Tan on facebook.
Others on this trip: Nick Yap, Ivan Kwan, Koh Kwan Siong.