24 December 2018

Seagrass stronghold at Sentosa

The beautiful natural shore at Sentosa Tanjung Rimau has living corals, lush seagrass meadows and natural cliffs cloaked in a coastal forest.
Living shores of Sentosa Tanjung Rimau, Dec 2018
This shore is a refuge for some rare coastal plants, and is among the few shores left in Singapore with lush Tape seagrasses with long leaves. Today, they were fruiting!

Here's a glimpse of the shore. Including corals hard and soft, anemones and anemoneshrimp, colourful sponges, nudibranch and seagrasses.
Living shores of Sentosa Tanjung Rimau, Dec 2018
There are not a lot of corals on the shore, but still, there are a few large colonies.
Living shores of Sentosa Tanjung Rimau, Dec 2018
I noticed that some of the large boulder shaped corals were pale or had pale patches.
But most of the corals seemed alright. I saw a variety of corals. Most were Merulinid corals. There were also many Boulder pore corals, some were large. I saw some plate corals too, and one Trumpet coral and Cauliflower coral. The rest of the team saw mushroom corals.
There were a good variety of leathery soft corals, most were medium sized. Although there were a few very small Omelette leathery soft corals, which suggests some kind of stress.
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. The mother tree and her older daughter tree are still alright.
Nyireh laut (Xylocarpus rumphii)
It was nice to see the very young Nyireh laut that has settled under the cliff some distance from the mother tree is still doing well. I first saw it on my last trip here in July 2017. The young Nyireh laut growing under the pillbox is doing well. On the  last survey in Jan 2018, it seemed to have been chopped off, but has since resprouted. The patch of Raffles pitcher plants are also still there.
The rest of the team shared special sightings like a pair of Tiger cowries!

Also this interesting nudibranch which I have never seen before!

It was great to see some clumps of Tape seagrass with super long leaf blades, as they should. During the last survey in Jan 2018, the male flowers were blooming. Today, I saw a lot of fruits!
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) fruit
Unfortunately, I did come across some cropped Tape seagrass too.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) cropped
The patch of Sickle seagrass near the seawall is still there and doing well.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) and Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii)
Liz shared her sighting of Needle seagrass, which is surprisingly not that common here.
There remains a bloom of Bee hoon green seaweed and Hairy green seaweed that seems to have been going on here for years now. As is normal this time of year, there was also a bloom of Sargassum seaweed.
Bloom of Chaetomorpha sp.
This shore lies near the Pasir Panjang container terminals. The long line of floating drums are back. They were absent during our survey in Jul 2017 and Jan 2018 so they must have been reinstalled since then. These are a 'security barrier' first installed in 2012.

Living shores of Sentosa Tanjung Rimau, Dec 2018
We didn't survey the shore past the point. Let's hope this beautiful shore remains safe until we get a chance to return again.

Photos by others on this trip

Loh Kok Sheng

Jianlin Liu

Liz Lim

Vincent Choo

Chay Hoon

Joleen Chan

Others on this trip: Choo Yi Feng.

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