Aug 24, 2009

Tuas (24 Aug 09)

Back on the shores again to monitor seagrasses, this time at Tuas with the amazing volunteers from Schering Plough. Led by Helen (leftmost) and Sheryl (not in photo as she is unable to go down to the shore today).

This shore is long but narrow, so we use the random method to monitor it. It has mostly Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis).
Here's a view of the shore to the west with the Merawang beacon and in the distance, the Malaysia island of Pulau Merambong. The seagrasses in Johor opposite Tuas is being monitored by our Malaysian counterparts, also as part of international Seagrass-Watch.
To the east there are even some mangrove trees on the shore, with the second link on the horizon.
While the SP volunteers work on their transect, a few of us were checking out the rest of this marvellous shore.
Today, there is a lot of Coin-shaped seaweeds (Halimeda sp.) that have taken up a large area of the shores. The thicket of seaweeds seem to provide happy homes for various animals, including many of these Ball soft corals (Family Nephtheidea). Which in turn are homes to more little animals.
After the SP team finish their monitoring, Helen leads them on a little walk to see some of the animals on this shore.
There are the usual animals that we often see near seagrasses. Such as peacock anemones (Order Ceriantharia) and large Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni).
I also saw several baby Kite butterflyfishes (Parachaetodon ocellatus), and one tiny Pygmy squid (Idiosepius sp.) which has a little glue gland to stick itself to seagrass blades.
The SP team left earlier as they had to go to work. While the rest of us wandered around some. Here's some of what we saw with links to our blog entries.

Thanks to the SP team who look after this shore! And particularly to those who came today: May Tan, Pei Pei, Yoke Yin, Mabeline Tan, Mei Yin and Lin Hock. And especially to Sheryl and Helen who coordinate the effort for the Tuas shore by SP.

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