coral reefs, seagrass meadows, sandy shores.
Cyrene's living reefs and lush seagrass meadows are just minutes
from the mainland. More about our city reefs.
Special habitats on Cyrene
Cyrene has stunning seagrass
meadows! Lush and vast, the meadows here are home to all but two
of the seagrass species found in Singapore. As a result, Cyrene Reef
is one of the primary sites monitored by TeamSeagrass.
The seagrasses are full of marinelife. In particular, Cyrene is rich
a group that includes sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sand
dollars and feather stars. In this respect, Cyrene is very much like
a Chek Jawa of the South!
Among the spectacular sea stars is the amazing Pentaceraster
mammilatus, a new record for Singapore! It was previously
known only from the western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. It has not
been sighted on any of our other shores. More about the
discovery of this star.
Cyrene is also home to abundant Knobbly
sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus). This large cartoon-like
sea star is listed among Singapore's threatened animals. Studies show
that Cyrene is probably the only reef in Singapore whre juvenile Knobblies
are commonly seen. In fact, Cyrene may be home to "the only sustainable
population of Knobbly sea stars" (from the Star
Cyrene also has fabulous living reefs! In one survey reported in 1991,
Cyrene Reefs was found to have "the highest diversity of hard corals,
with 28 genera covering 48.06% of the transect". (from Hsu, L.H.L.
and Chou, L.M. 1991. Assessment of reef resources at sites identified
for artificial reef establishment in Singapore. abstract on the Food
and Agriculture Organisation FAO
Cyrene Reef also has stunning sandy
shores alive with common
sea stars and sand
A reef that's in the way?
Made up three submerged reef flats: Terumbu Pandan, Pandan Beacon
and South Cyrene Beacon, Cyrene Reef is ringed by petrochemical plants
on Jurong Island and Pulau Bukom. It is also right next to the container
terminals on the mainland.
There's a chartlet
of Cyrene Reef on the MPA website (PDF file) for a larger view
of this map.
The Reef is
also along major shipping lanes for huge container ships and other
"Cyrene Reef is a key maritime crossroads where east-west traffic
routes cross north-south traffic routes. In the order of five hundred
ships in excess of 5,000 DWT per day transit the waters around the
reefs." (from BMT
Maritime Consultants project list: Cyrene Reef Marine Traffic Study,
Fortunately, a series of beacons that ring Cyrene Reefs prevent
collisions with the Reefs. The last major collision, as reported
on the MPA website, was on 5
Dec 08 when a ferry ran aground on the Reefs.
Cyrene in Greek mythology
Various versions of Greek mythology describe Cyrene as an 'extraordinarily
beautiful' woman descended from a river god and a nymph. She had
a reputation as a huntress who guarded her father's herds from predators
and was adept with javelin and sword. Apollo spied her wrestling
a lion alone and bare-handed, and was so impressed that he carried
her off and later founded a city in Libya and named it after her.
Cyrene is said to have borne one son, who grew up to invent beekeeping.
The future of Cyrene?
Let's hope the Reef takes on the indomitable spirit of its namesake
warrior woman, and fights bare-handed with the Lion to stay alive.
Does it make sense to conserve Cyrene Reef? Here's some
in public exhibitions
in public talks
articles about Cyrene Reef
guides and references