Largest-Ever Study of Coral Communities Unlocks Global Solution to Save Reefs, Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies' Vibrant Oceans Initiative
The largest study ever conducted of its kind has identified where and how to save coral reef communities in the Indo-Pacific, according to an international group of scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and other conservation NGOs, government agencies, and universities. The study outlines three viable strategies that can be quickly enacted to help save coral reefs that are threatened by climate change and human impacts.
Published today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the study involved the efforts of more than 80 authors who surveyed coral abundance on more than 2,500 reefs across 44 countries in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The findings revealed that the majority of reefs had functioning coral communities with a living cover of architecturally complex species that give reefs their distinctive structure. After the damage caused by severe heat stress during the 2014-17 El Niño event, the authors found nearly 450 reefs in 22 countries across the Indo-Pacific that survived in climate ‘cool spots’ that should be prioritized for urgent protection and management.
The landmark publication also presents a conservation framework of three management strategies (protect, recover, and transform) to safeguard reef ecologies and ecosystem services into the future...