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A new research study showed why threatened Caribbean star corals sometimes swap partners to help them recover from bleaching events. The findings are important to understand the fate of coral reefs as ocean waters warm due to climate change. The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science research team placed colonies…
Thanks to the pioneering research of Shedd Aquarium’s Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, we now know that Caribbean coral reefs need an angel(fish). While the dangers to Caribbean reefs are widely known, Dr. Loh’s research, led by Dr. Joseph Pawlik of UNC Wilmington, focused on a largely ignored threat to coral populations: sponges. By studying heavily fished…
Written by Alison Barrat and Andy Bruckner On a scientific expedition to Palau this January we saw thriving coral reefs that contained many species of large, healthy corals, and only a few miles away we found desolate looking reefs that had virtually no coral at all. Our science team recorded conditions that were optimal for…
The coral reefs of Palau hold approximately 400 species of hard corals, 300 species of soft corals, and 1400 species of reef fish. Palau is internationally renown for its beautiful landscapes and seascapes as well as its biological significance to the environment. The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation undertook its third expedition with the International League of Conservation Photographers in this fabled archipelago, working with iLCP Fellow Keith Ellenbogen.
By Stuart Campbell and Nils Krueck
The Forgotten Islands occupy a region in the southeastern Indonesian province of Maluku, a sparsely-populated area covering about 50,000 square kilometers that includes a vast expanse of coral reefs. As the region’s name suggests, not much is known about these reefs and their associated fisheries. One important reason for this is that for much of the year the seas are wild and unable to be accessed. Another reason is that Maluku’s Forgotten Islands support around 70,000 people who practice traditional customs that hark back to before the conversion of communities to Christianity. These customs include the guarding of marine resources against occasional visitors, such as nomadic fishers from central Indonesia
This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic Voices blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by Jürgen Freund, Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers. The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is circumnavigating…
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation conducts scientific surveys on coral reefs around the world to determine the health and resilience of the reef. The primary scientific goals of the Expeditions are to map and characterize coral reef ecosystems, identify their current status and major threats, and examine factors that enhance their ability to resist, survive and recover from major disturbance events like bleaching, cyclone damage, or Crown of Thorns outbreaks. iLCP Fellow Jürgen Freund documents an expedition to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef.
From Jensi Sartin of the Reef Check Foundation: The beauty of the Caribbean reefs have been a tourist attraction for decades, if not centuries. They teem with life, holding an amazing variety of fantastical fish and other sea creatures. But at the current rate, Caribbean reefs will be lost within 20 years. Worse, the damage is largely the result of our own actions.
This dire news comes from the Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, an extensive report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The report explains that the direct threats from overfishing and land-based pollution are combining dramatically with the longer term effects of climate change to destroy a vital natural resource that lies just a short flight from the United States.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on the planet composed of almost 3000 individual reefs. For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been synonymous with diving, tourism and with Australia. But the reef is under threat of industrial development projects. Text and Photos by James Morgan.
This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they climb into volcanos to look for bacteria, invent environmentally and academically friendly ways to make tea, create the largest marine reserves in the world, make tiny soft robots, swim the seven seas, survive an avalanche, eat ice cream in the name of conservation, and swim with Great white sharks.
For two weeks, iLCP Fellow Jürgen Freund joined the Living Oceans Foundation’s Great Barrier Reef mission to photographically document the Great Barrier Reef and the science that happened on board and underwater. Text and photos by Jürgen Freund.
Home to over three quarters of the world’s coral species, The Coral Triangle is the underwater equivalent of the Amazon. It encompasses an area half the size of the United States and harbours more marine species than anywhere else on the planet. From Borneo down to the edge of the South Pacific, the Coral Triangle has some of the most breathtaking underwater landscapes, but the majority are buckling under the pressures of overfishing, resource extraction and climate change. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan.
An old Japanese fighter plane contrasts strangely with the abundant coral and marine life around it in the waters of Palau.
Daniel Lin and Dr. Sylvia Earle (National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence) team up to write about their experience of greeting Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia in American Samoa, and to reflect on the health of the ocean there.
Coral reefs are very complex ecosystems, but luckily managing them sustainably is not. Simply don’t catch fish faster than they reproduce, don’t damage the corals or pollute the water, reduce atmospheric CO2, and protect some areas as marine reserves. That’s easier said than done, and it’s not news. What is new is that an…