Over 100 new marine species discovered in Singapore
Published on May 27, 2013 11:37 AM
Researchers have identified the "Lipstick" sea anemone in the mudflats of Pulau Ubin. Distinguishable by its distinctive red mouth, it is possibly a completely new species to be discovered in the world. Another species that may not have been recorded anywhere else in the world before, is the orange-clawed mangrove crab, found in coastal mangroves.
The two are part of 14 species identified as possibly new to science, in the five-year Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS) conducted by NParks and the National University of Singapore's Tropical Marine Science Institute. Launched in 2010, it has collected some 30,000 specimens through surveys in mudflats, seabeds and reef habitats. Through this, 10 species have also been rediscovered, such as a species of large coastal catfish last seen in Singapore waters over 100 years ago.
Last Tuesday, a second marine biodiversity expedition began. The three-week expedition aims to carry out a biodiversity survey of marine life in the "Singapore Deeps" - waters exceeding 80 to 100 metres in depth - a habitat that is mostly unexplored. Local scientists will be aided by 25 internationally renowned scientists from 10 countries.
Mr Leong Chee Chiew, deputy chief executive of NParks said: "The survey reminds us of the significant progress we have made in conserving our natural heritage. It is very important that we continue working with the community to nurture healthy ecosystems and promote the appreciation of our rich biodiversity to future generations of Singaporeans."