May 21, 2011

Pulau Semakau (21 May 2011)

It's a rather wet sunrise, but this does not deter a small team from heading out to the seagrass meadows at Pulau Semakau.
The wet weather actually made the walk to the shore a cool and pleasant one!

Reaching the shore, before we head out to our sites, Siti quickly goes through the processes. Then we're off in strange sunny drizzle.
We are very short handed today! While most of the Team did the other two sites, I head out to Site 1 with our first timers. Although most of them had only monitored once before, they were very good at getting their first Semakau monitoring done!
Many of us saw this strange long bumpy animal in the seagrass meadows today. It's a sea cucumber! Here's more about the Synaptid sea cucumber. Andy, our stalwart Team member, has done video clips of this animal.
After we finish monitoring, we hurry back as the tide was coming in.
Sue found a Durian sea cucumber! This animal is often seen on Semakau.
We also come across the Garlic bread sea cucumber. This animal is listed as Vulnerable on our Red List of threatened animals in Singapore and it plays an important role in the health of seagrasses!
The ladies have found a Knobbly sea star! This sea star seems to be more abundant where there is good seagrass meadows. In Singapore, it is listed as Endangered.
We also come across a Giant carpet anemone. It had an anemone shrimp! These anemones usually have 'Nemo's too, but we couldn't see any in this one.
There are lots of colourful sponges: including the bizarre Pink puff ball sponge (the pink fluff is just a tiny bit that sticks out of the ground, the bulk of the sponge is buried!).
Alas, a very VERY long driftnet had been placed right across the Semakau seagrass meadow today. Our 100m transect site took up a small fraction of it.

Glad to have today Jerome, Nadine, Jocelyne, Chun Fong, Eta, Yifeng, Vanitha, Nor Aishah, Sue, Siti Zaleha and Andy.

Thanks also to Siti for taking care of the monitoring and briefing, Wei Ling for arranging everything even though she was too ill to come for our trip, and Rachel for taking care of the transport.

We were also joined by JC Chua and friends who looked at our mangroves. Rachel and Hassan also had a look at some of the rare coastal and mangrove plants on Pulau Semakau.

Other posts about this trip
  • Jerome on facebook with lots of colourful marine life and interesting aspects of the landfill.
  • Ria with an encounter with the men who laid a very long driftnet and check on coral bleaching.
  • Andy with more about another large pile of abandoned driftnets.

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