Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Latest Great Barrier Reef Stories

2006-04-05 17:10:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NASA satellites that monitor ocean color and temperature have joined a global effort to study the worrisome bleaching of coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the U.S. space agency said on Wednesday. Coral reefs get bleached when water is too warm, which forces out tiny algae that live in the coral and help it to thrive and give it its vivid color, NASA said in a statement. Without these algae, coral can whiten and eventually die. "Australia's Great Barrier Reef is...

2006-03-14 05:10:00

By Michael Perry SYDNEY -- When marine scientist Ray Berkelmans went diving at Australia's Great Barrier Reef earlier this year, what he discovered shocked him -- a graveyard of coral stretching as far as he could see. "It's a white desert out there," Berkelmans told Reuters in early March after returning from a dive to survey bleaching -- signs of a mass death of corals caused by a sudden rise in ocean temperatures -- around the Keppel Islands. Australia has just experienced its warmest year...

2006-02-01 06:25:00

SYDNEY, Australia -- A bout of coral bleaching hitting Australia's Great Barrier Reef could be as bad as an episode in 2001-2002 that affected 60 percent of the reef, scientists warned Tuesday. An international team studying the world's reefs said in a statement that water temperatures for the past four months off Australia's northeastern coast have been well above long-term averages. "We were all very concerned when we saw the temperature readings for December," said Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg...

2005-10-03 07:38:57

ESA -- Australian researchers have found Envisat's MERIS sensor can detect coral bleaching down to ten metres deep. This means Envisat could potentially monitor impacted coral reefs worldwide on a twice-weekly basis. Coral bleaching happens when symbiotic algae living in symbiosis with living coral polyps (and providing them their distinctive colours) are expelled. The whitening coral may die with subsequent impacts on the reef ecosystem, and thus fisheries, regional tourism and coastal...

2005-04-23 11:29:50

SYDNEY, (AFP) -- Australian scientists said they had discovered new coral reefs stretching 100 kilometres (62 miles) in the remote Gulf of Carpentaria off the country's rugged north coast. Geoscience Australia said the reefs, estimated to be at least 100,000 years old, were a major discovery. They were found by a survey team that went to the Gulf of Carpentaria to follow up on initial exploration work carried out two years ago, when three "patch" reefs, one 10 kilomores (6.2 miles) across,...

2004-12-31 08:55:46

HONG KONG (AFP) -- Beaches around South Asia devastated by tsunamis could be restored to their former glory within a few years, but the marine life through which the huge waves passed could take centuries to recover, experts say. Coral reefs, mangroves, fish and other marine life had been damaged by the tsunamis which rose out of the Indian Ocean on Sunday, triggered by a massive earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The disaster has left more than 119,000 people dead and up to...

2004-12-07 08:13:33

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Only about 30 percent of the world's coral reefs are healthy, down from 41 percent two years ago, according to a study released Monday that lists global warming as the top threat. The study found as many as one-fifth of the world's coral reefs have been destroyed. Another half are damaged but could be saved, it said. Coral reefs are among the oldest and most diverse forms of life. They provide food and shelter to fish and protect shores from erosion. While covering less...

Latest Great Barrier Reef Reference Libraries

Short-spined Crown-of-thorns Starfish, Acanthaster brevispinus
2013-08-12 14:37:20

The short-spined crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster brevispinus) is a species of starfish that is classified within the Acanthasteridae family. This species has a large range that includes the Great Barrier Reef, the Philippines, and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Because these areas are so far away from one another, the full range of this starfish cannot be known, but it can be said that it resides in a tropical or subtropical environment. It was first discovered by W.K. Fisher, who...

Barrier Reef Anemonefish, Amphiprion akindynos
2012-05-11 12:04:43

The Barrier Reef Anemonefish (Amphiprion akindynos) is native to the marine lagoons and reefs in the Western Pacific Ocean.  It lives at a depth of around eighty-two feet in temperatures fluctuating between fifty degrees Fahrenheit to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Its range includes northern New South Wales, the Loyalty Islands, Tonga, New Caledonia, Coral Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef. They are typically seen near or within the tentacles of their host anemones. They will inhabit anemones like...

2012-04-03 14:15:16

Alcyoniidae is a family of leathery corals that occur globally in temperate and tropical seas. These reef dwellers are often found in wave-exposed areas of reef crests, less turbid waters in lagoons, on steep slopes, under overhangs, and at depths of 100 feet and deeper. A colony of leathery coral is stiff, hard, and inflexible. It is composed of tiny polyps projecting from a shared leathery tissue. There are two kinds of polyps seen in Alcyoniidae corals: autozooids have long trunks and...

Elongate Surgeonfish, Acanthurus mata
2012-04-02 17:23:07

The Elongate Surgeonfish, (Acanthurus mata), is a species of tropical fish found in the Indo-Pacific, and can be found as far north as Southern Japan and south to the Great Barrier Reef. Some also live as far west as South Africa and as far east as the Tuamotu Islands. Its main habitat is steep slopes around coral reefs. This is a light blue fish with numerous brown stripes running down the length of the body, although over time it is able to change color to become blue overall. It has a...

Pajama Cardinalfish, Sphaeramia nematoptera
2009-06-19 12:35:41

The Pajama Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera) is a fish that belongs to the Apogonidae family. These fish are a popular aquarium fish. The Pajama Cardinalfish can grow to be a length of 3 inches. The fish has red eyes and broad, dark, vertical "waistband" that is sprinkled with red spots that leads toward the tail. This fish has low vulnerability. Pajama Cardinalfish circulate throughout much of the West Pacific, from Jave to Fiji and from south of the Ryukyu Islands to the Great...

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