"The federal government has opposed a recommendation by a United Nations body
that the Great Barrier Reef be listed as “in danger”. But there’s no doubt the
natural wonder is in dire trouble. In new research, my colleagues and I provide
fresh insight into the plight of many coral species.
Worsening climate change, and subsequent marine heatwaves, have led to mass
coral deaths on tropical reefs. However, there are few estimates of how reduced
overall coral cover is linked to declines in particular coral species.
Our research examined 44 years of coral distribution records around Lizard
Island, at the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef. We found 16% of coral
species have not been seen for many years and are at risk of either local
extinction, or disappearing from parts of their local range.
This is alarming, because local extinctions often signal wider regional – and
ultimately global – species extinction events."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics