July 2016 at the height of mass coral bleaching. At that time, we estimated about 50% of the hard corals and 50% of the leathery soft corals were bleaching. And also noticed about 5-10% of corals have died recently.
Today, even the patch of plate corals are still alright!
It was good to see some of the Branching montipora corals in the lagoon were recovering. Although the patch is not as dense as it used to be. On the seaward side, there were many Acropora coral colonies that looked healthy. There were also some small Cauliflower coral colonies.
Many animals live among corals. Today, we saw many small Arabian cowries. And I saw some animals that can only live in corals. This includes a glimpse of the Acropora goby, and several Red coral crabs.There were lots of healthy looking large leathery soft corals and large Asparagus flowery soft corals.
Haddon's carpet anemones in the lagoon and they were not bleaching. I saw a few Frilly anemones on the rocky shore near the jetty. On the reef facing the city, there were a lot a lot of Magnificent anemones, many appear small. And many Giant carpet anemones too. They were all not bleaching.
Clown anemonefish and Anemone shrimps. We saw these in some of the anemones.
Spoon seagrass and skinny and short Needle seagrass. The other lagoon had fresh green patches of Needle Seagrass. And near the jetty, the little patch of Tape seagrass has grown! I saw a female flower. There was a bloom of Sea lettuce in the large lagoon, and near the jetty a bloom of Hairy green seaweed.
There were lots of Common sea stars in the smaller lagoon and they were almost all in 'mating position', The rest of the team also saw many small heart urchins on the surface (these are usually buried). Perhaps they came up to mate too?
legends and history of Kusu Island.
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