Dr. Mark Erdmann & Dr. Gerry Allen, who were visiting us in Manado as Guest Lecturers for the free biology workshop “Fish Geek Week”, conducted a survey of fish species between 1st and 12th September.
This is the first time that a scientific fish survey has ever been done in North Sulawesi.
It was done over a week out of Minahasa Lagoon Resort Manado plus five informal days in Lembeh and it threw up some most absolutely amazing unexpected results.We always knew North Sulawesi had wonderful marine biodiversity, given that it sits at the heart of the Coral Triangle, but... these results we definitely did NOT expect!
Gerry & Mark recorded 967 species from 329 genera and 84 families. That's without even surveying many habitats. They were nowhere near reaching a plateau, every day adding 25-40 new records to the list!
Gerry predicts that further surveys would show somewhere around 1020 species in total for North Sulawesi (Bunaken to Lembeh). To put these numbers in perspective, Komodo National Park has 750 species recorded to date, the Togian and Banggai islands have 819 species recorded to date, Berau in East Kalimantan (including Derawan and Sangalaki) has 875 species recorded to date, and Western Thailand has 775 species recorded to date.
Another very interesting point was the extremely high per-site diversity. In general any count of over 200 species on a single dive is considered a very high diversity site. Of the 9 sites surveyed, 6 were higher than 200 species and two of them broke 300 species (Tanjung Kelapa/Malcolm had 310 species and Satchiko's had 301 species)!
To put this in perspective, in over 40 years' of survey work around the Coral Triangle region, Gerry Allen has only documented three sites that have broken 300 species: Kayoa Island, Halmahera (303 species), Tanjung Papisoi in Kaimana, West Papua (330 species) and Cape Kri in Raja Ampat (374 species). So Tanjung Kelapa/Malcolm is now the 3rd richest fish site ever recorded, and Satchiko's the 5th.
For the full report, click here.