31 January 2018

Stormy at Sentosa

We managed to survey this beautiful nature shore at Sentosa despite the storm!
Coastal forest and rocky shores of Sentosa
I saw Tape seagrasses with long leaf blades and male flowers floating on the water! There were also some hard corals, as well as a variety of other marine life.

The tide wasn't low enough for us to check the reef flats, and we had to stop for a while due to the lightning and rain. But as we proceeded after the rain, it was good to see that there are still some small clusters of Branching montipora corals on the northwestern shore.
Branching montipora coral (Montipora sp.)
There were a few hard corals, some were alright, others had large dead patches. There has not been much hard corals on this shore in the past. During the survey at the height of mass coral bleaching I estimated about 70% of the hard corals bleached. Seems like many didn't survive.
There were a few patches of Black-and-white leathery soft corals, some zoanthids, several Frilly sea anemones and one Giant carpet anemone.
The natural coastal forest that cloaks this natural cliff has some of the last of Singapore's now rare coastal plants. Among them is Nyireh laut which is Critically Endangered in Singapore and we probably have only about 7 trees on our shores. So it was nice to see the very young Nyireh laut that has settled under the cliff some distance from the mother tree is doing well. I first saw it on my last trip here in July 2017.
The young Nyireh laut growing under the pillbox seems to have been chopped off, but has since resprouted.
The mother tree and her older daughter tree are still alright.
Nyireh laut (Xylocarpus rumphii)
The patch of Raffles pitcher plants are still there.
Raffles pitcher plant (Nepenthes rafflesiana)
It was great to see some clumps of Tape seagrass with super long leaf blades, as they should. There were also lush patches of Spoon seagrass (small leaf blades) here and there.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides)
There were clumps of male Tape seagrass flowers floating here and there. And I saw a clump of Tape seagrass with lots of male flower bracts!
There was still a bloom of Hairy green seaweed on the shore. Seems to have been there for years now.
Bloom of Bryopsis sp.
On the sandy northwestern shore, Small Coin green seaweed covered larger areas.
Lots of Halimeda sp. (Small)
Lay Beng spotted a Coastal horseshoe crab that was well buried. There seems to be another one under it. There were also eggs of snails such as Moon snails and Spiral melongena snails.
There were a variety of sponges growing on the rocky areas of this shore too.
Underwater World is no more. It has been completely flattened and grass now covers the area where it used to be.
Underwater World is no more

Others on this trip: Lay Beng, Frances, Sumita

France Loke of Little Green Men shares her encounters including with an octopus!

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