Signs of stingless jellyfish coming back to the famous Jellyfish Lake of the Eil Malk Island in Palau has been observed by a research organization recently.
The Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF), who has been monitoring the famous Jellyfish every month since 1999, had observed four Golden Jellyfish and two Moon Jellies during their monthly sampling last February 14, 2018, CRRF said in a statement.
CRRF found that there are healthy polyps of the Golden Jellyfish on the lake sides and with this, more production of the medusae (jellyfish) is expected as the water temperature decreases.
Polyp is an early phase of a jellyfish’s life cycle where it settles itself on a hard surface and transforms into a cylindrical, stalk-like structure.
Phytoplankton bloom of the favorable species are also spotted which indicates that there is abundant food for zooplankton, the major food source for the juvenile Golden jellyfish, the CRRF added.
However, CRRF emphasized that the presence of only four Golden Jellyfish indicates limited production of baby jellyfish, adding that the reproduction is occurring despite the high water temperature.
During CRRF’s monitoring last February, it is found that the temperature of the lake was at 32 degrees Celsius which is just half a degree above the favorable temperature threshold for the polyps to reproduce.
The lake’s average temperature last August 2017 had also been noted to decrease when it reached 33.4 degrees Celsius.
The CRRF is optimistic though that with a normal summer monsoon, production of baby jellyfish is expected.
The famous Jellyfish Lake was one of the major attractions of Palau as many tourists were delighted by the sight of millions of Golden Jellyfish swarming in the lake. However, the dwindling number of Jellyfish found in the lake as a result of severe drought in the past had prompted other officials to consider closing it down to visitors to allow Jellyfish to resettle or reproduce, but even this decision had caused dissent among national, state, and traditional leaders. (Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter)