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Biodiversity in Danger

The Great Barrier ReefAngel Carney, 2010

Overview:Introduction to the Reef:What is a reef?Meet the Great Barrier Reef The Problem:Endangered Species of the GBRCauses of the ProblemSolutions for The ProblemReef water protection planBiodiversity strategyConclusion

Angel Carney, 2010

What is A Reef?Coral reefs are diverse ecosystems made of tiny living animals, called corals.Corals are soft, stationary animals without a backbone!When the corals die, they leave behind hard structures that are the basis of the reefHome to 30 different kinds of whales, 6 kinds of turtles, and over 1500 kinds of fish, PLUS sea snakes, sharks, and stingrays!Home to some of the largest clams in the world!Microscopic algae live on the corals and through photosynthesis, the corals steal nutrients from the algau, giving them their vibrant colorsAngel Carney, 2010

Meet the Great Barrier ReefBarrier Reefs are those that form parallel to a land mass, usually several miles awayFound in the shallow waters surrounding Queensland, Australia!Named one of the seven wonders of the world!Estimated to be 500,000Years oldIt is the largest reef system in the world!Over 344,400 square kilometers and 1,800 miles long!1,200 miles longCan be seen from space!

Angel Carney, 2010

The Problem:Due to many outside influences, Great Barrier Reef is in peril!It is estimated that by the year 2100, the world will have only 30% of its coral reefsThe Great Barrier Marine Park Authority has introduced several plans to help stop thisLots of the species that are native to the Great Barrier Reef, and only found there are becoming endangered!Endangered animals are species that are in danger of going extinctMany of the species on the reef are exclusive to this area, which means when they are gone from the reef, they are gone from the planet

Angel Carney, 2010

The Problem: Endangered SpeciesShells helmet shells, triton shells, tridacnid clamsFish seahorses, pipefish, sea dragons, potato cod, Queensland Grouper, barramundi cod, Maori wrasse, all other grouper over 100 cmSeasnakesCrocodiles

Sharks whale shark, grey nurse shark, great white shark, freshwater and green sawfishMarine turtlesBirdsSealsWhales and dolphinsDugongs

The following are the chief concern of the Marine Park Authority. There are MANY other species in danger as well.Angel Carney, 2010

Causes of The Problem:Climate ChangePollution Toxic Spills, and groundingsOver-fishing and poachingNatural Disasters, such as hurricanes, and tropical stormsPhysical DamageWater Quality

Angel Carney, 2010

CLIMATE CHANGEEvery part of the reef is affected by the climate changesThe water temperature is expected to rise 1.8-5.4 degrees FahrenheitRising climate makes ice bergs melt, which makes the ocean rise, estimates are at 3 mm per yearCauses stress to the very delicate corals:They become unfit hosts for and discharge the microorganisms which live on them.Causes Coral Bleaching, which is when the corals begin to lose their colorationsOcean acidification Increasing temperatures cause increased carbon dioxide to be absorbed by the ocean waters.

Angel Carney, 2010

POLLUTION AND WATER QUALITY30 Rivers in Queensland dump into the waters around the reefPesticides and fertilizers run off into these rivers and poison the inhabitants.Spreads disease among coralsCopper from industries stunts polyp developmentShips take shortcuts through the reef, and release exhausts and leak oils that suffocate the corals and other organisms, into the watersSediment: solid particles settle into the water and smother the environmentCan result in the reef being buried!Blocks sunlight so the microorganisms cannot photosynthesize and give the coral their colors

Angel Carney, 2010

OVER-FISHINGMany species of the reef are increasing in popularity as delicaciesNaturally predatory species are over-fished, causing species lower on the food chain to grow out of controlLikewise, if species low on the food chain are diminished, natural predators will die due to lack of food.Fishing increases pollution on the reef, because of the shipsMany of the endangered species are poached, for flavors, and high rates of payReduces life span and reproduction of species (Keller et. al, 2009).Nets dragged across the sea floor cause damage to the habitat.Angel Carney, 2010

NATURAL DISASTERSString storm winds and waves break the coralsIncrease sea levels!Dump too much freshwater into the seaThe corals, polyps and all other inhabitants are salt water friendlyFreshwater decreases coral growthRising water levels increase run off into the rivers and, subsequently into the sea!Diluting the salt water contributes to coral bleaching and death of the polyps

Angel Carney, 2010

TOURISMStealing: Tourists rip pieces of the coral, and polyps from the reefTouching: Suntan lotions and oils wash off and cause damage to the reefBoats drop anchors in the reef and cause physical damageIncreases pollution, alsoLittering: leaving foreign things in the reefFishes may ingest harmful matterChemicals in the litter can be harmfulMuch of the litter does not biodegradePropellers hit marine animals, such as endangered dugongs and turtlesSnorkel fins damage corals when stricken

Angel Carney, 2010

Solutions for The ProblemGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park AuthorityOutlook ReportBiodiversity StrategyReef water Protection Plan

Angel Carney, 2010

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park AuthorityManages the Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkEmploys 15 Advisory CommitteesCommitted to the long-term protection of the reefReef HQ Aquarium education center run by the GBRMPA25 Year plan:ConservationResource ManagementEducation, and CommunicationResearch and MonitoringManagement Processes(

Angel Carney, 2010

Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009A summary of the status and future of the Great Barrier ReefProvides a report of the management of the Great Barrier ReefSummarizes the past and present management of the Great Barrier ReefHighlights:The GBR is one of the most extraordinary ecosystems in the worldKey issues to be addressed within the Park:ClimateDeclining water qualityLoss of habitatFishingAngel Carney, 2010

Great Barrier Reef is home to a VAST variety of species No other place in the world is home to as many different plant and animal species living in harmony with each otherIt is imperative that we preserve the diversity of this ecosystemAims to guide and help coordinate management actions that will protect and conserve biodiversity in the Great Barrier Reef, (GBRMPA, August 2010).Conserves the diversity of the habitat as well as it inhabitantsProvides a framework for how biodiversity is managaged (GBRMPA, 2010).Completes assessments on progressIdentifies problems, fall-backs, and prioritizes threatsManufactures and distributes publications to the publicBio-Diversity StrategyAngel Carney, 2010

Reef water protection plan

Launched in 2003, revised 20092 Goals:immediate goal - to halt and reverse the decline in water quality entering the Reef by 2013 (Qld Gov, 2009)long term goal - to ensure that by 2020 the quality of water quality entering the Reef from adjacent catchments has no detrimental impact on the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. (Qld Gov, 2009)Implement strategies on the farms surrounding the areaEnact, Review, oversee and stay on top of policies

Angel Carney, 2010

Reef Protection PlanGoal: To protect the Great Barrier ReefProtects 33% of the reef from commercial and recreational fishing!Identifies endangered species, and outlines steps to protect themAllows native peoples to fish the reefProhibits removal of any part of the reef or any inhabitantAngel Carney, 2010

Conclusion:The Great Barrier Reef has been recognized as a World Heritage Site. It covers an area larger than the size of Italy. Te Great Barrier Reef is home to a very wide variety of corals, polyps, plants, animals, fish, and more organisms and is more than 500,000 years old. It is imperative that we preserve this treasure trove under the sea. Many human practices are killing The Great Barrier Reef, but through knowledge we can spread the word and help combat the destruction of this natural wonder of the Earth. Please, help, spread the word!Angel Carney, 2010

Works Cited1. "Australia and Oceania." International Wildlife 26.2 (1996): 34. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 28 Sept. 2010. =aph&AN=96022940692. Mitchell, Alanna. Seasick: Ocean Change and the Extinction of Life on Earth. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009. Print.3. Veron, J E. N. A Reef in Time: The Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008. Print.4. Bowen, James, and Margarita Bowen. The Great Barrier Reef: History, Science, Heritage. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.5. Chaloupka, Milani, et al. "Encouraging outlook for recovery of a once severely exploited marine megaherbivore." Global Ecology & Biogeography 17.2 (2008): 297-304. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. =aph&AN=288076486. GBRMPA. "Biodiversity Strategy." August 2010. Australian Government. Web 30 September 2010. GBRMPA. "Outlook Report 2009