Aug 4, 2008

Cyrene Reefs (4 Aug 08)

Sunrise and the Team is back on the shores, this time at Cyrene Reefs!Michelle (in red) is back on the Team again, and today we are privileged to have Shobana (in green) of the Straits Times to see the Team at work.Also with us is Sam the Straits Times photographer, who wasted no time in taking photos of Cyrene. As well as Weizhen, also with the Straits Times.While the team set up the transect lines, I brought the Straits Times team for a quick look around before we met up with Siti.Siti explained how monitoring is done. She also explained how monitoring helps us better understand the cycles in seagrass growth, and indirectly also understand the general health of the shores.
Michelle and Nor Aishah are in the next transect line, taking a real close look at the many species of seagrasses on Cyrene. It's amazing to have this rich seagrass meadow right next to a major shipping lane and the industrial installations on Pulau Bukom in the background.Andy and Collin are hard at work at the next transect. The rest are much further away, working on the second site on this vast shore.
These seagrass meadows are right in the middle of Singapore's busy container port!
Studies by the Star Trackers indicate that Cyrene's seagrass meadows are an important nursery for countless baby Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus). So far, this has not been encountered on any other shore in Singapore.

We had lots of interesting sightings of marine creatures today.Michelle and Nor Aishah found this Nepanthia sp. sea star.And we had another encounter with 'Blondie' the pale sea star which might be a new record. But we're not sure and will have to wait for the experts to visit Cyrene and have a look at it.Shufen also finds a smaller star that is different from the usual Knobbly sea star (at right). Is this star a juvenile Pentaceraster mammilatus? The Team found a larger specimen of this species in May, and it was confirmed as a new record for Singapore.

More about the many other creatures seen on the wildfilms blog.
Cyrene's seagrass meadows are important not only for marine creatures, but also shorebirds such as this heron.Terns also rest on Cyrene in between fishing forays in the surrounding waters.As the tide comes in we head back across the immense sandy areas pockmarked with sand dollars, Common sea stars and busy burrowing crabs.Shobana and Andy take some time before departure to flatten an abandoned fish trap.
Which is hauled back with us so that it no longer harms marine life on Cyrene Reefs.

More about Cyrene Reefs.

Thanks to everyone who came today: Andy, Collin, Helen, Jerald, Michelle, Nor Aishah, Vyna, and of course Siti, Shufen and Wei Ling for looking after us. And a special thanks to the Straits Times team: Shobana, Weizhen and Sam for being such great sports and great company on the shores.

During this trip, TeamSeagrass also gathered some live seagrasses. Vyna shares more about this and other sighting on her can you sea me blog.

These seagrasses from Cyrene will be part of the TeamSeagrass exhibit at the Reef Celebrations this Saturday 9 Aug National Day. Come and have a look at our very own seagrasses without getting your feet wet! More about the Reef Celebrations.

No comments: