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This animal specie israre in Italian seas, forit’s very expensive. Ourred and pink coral arecaught to make jewels,as symbol of fertility.Corals are protectedspecie in Italy, but theyare endangered bypoachers in illegaltrade.
There are over 41 thousand endangered species in the world. Gorillas, orangutans, dolphins and corals are the most threatened. Corals appeared for the first time in the Endangered Species List in 2007, whenten species of Galapagos were in danger of extinction mainly by the effects of El Nino and the climate change.
Corals grow in warm and temperate seas, near the coast, at depths ranging from 50 to 200 ft above the sea.The world’s most beautiful corals are in the Red Sea, Egypt; in the Indian Ocean; in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Hurgada, Egypt
What are corals?Corals are marine animalsliving in colonies of manyidentical individualcomponents made up ofhundreds to hundreds ofthousands of compact partscalled polyps.
Some corals need sunlight and clear, shallow water,below to 200ft to survive. Other corals need much deeper and colder water.
Unethical fishing techniques threaten all deep- water species: dynamite fishing and cyanidedestroy life everything, pollute the water and interrupt the ecosystem cycle.
When corals are crackedor stressed by the higherwater temperatures, theyexpel their symbioticalgae, which provideenergy to corals throughphotosynthesis. These algae are also food for other fish and crustaceans, and give to the coral reef a characteristic color, typical for every site in the world. When the alga leaves the coral, it bleaches itself till its death.
Corals are also caught for aquarium and jewels trades, the cause of overfishingand over exploitation. The number of bleached corals is increasing. Almost 60% of Caribbean Reefs are affected,and another 30% is incritical condition andrisk to die in the next 20 years.
Ten Endagered Corals The Evolutionarily Distinct and GloballyEndangered organization (EDGE) is trying to find a solution to these ten endangered species.
10. Pillar Coral Its polyps are covered in small hairs (the tentacles). Pillar coral is mostly vulnerable to the white plague type II, a disease that exposes its skeleton.
9. Elkhorn CoralThis coral is one of the most important in theCaribbean. The extensions are ideal places forparrot and other fishes to make their home.Since the 1980s, 90-95% of Elkhorn coral hasbecome extinct in the Florida Keys.
8. Crisp Pillow Coral This coral lives in the West Indian Ocean. InTanzania dynamiting for fish has damaged and stressed this specie.
7. Pearl Bubble CoralThe pearl bubble coralhas little white bubbleson its surface. It isvulnerable to the crown-of-thorns starfish(COTS), a predator thathas increased in numberbecause overfishing hasdecreased the predatorsthat eat it.
6. Ctenella Coral This coral lives in the Indian Ocean. A hugeMarine Protected Area is trying to defend this specie from ocean acidification, coral bleaching and pollution.
5. Horastrea Coral This beautiful coral is extremely rare, found only in certain areas of the Western Indian Ocean. It is threatened by destructive fishing, over fishing, pollution, COTS, cyclones and coral bleaching.
4. Mushroom CoralThis is a special coral because its polyps are eithermale or female, and because popcorn shrimp andpipefish live among this coral, hiding from theirpredators. This coral is one of the most caught foraquariums.
3. Parasimplastrea Coral This coral lives in the Indian Ocean, in theArabian and Iranian Gulfs. During cyclones, its algae flourish darkening water and blocking photosynthesis, bleaching the coral.
1. Honeycomb Coral This is maybe the longer living coral. It has fossil records from 55 million years ago. It’s in great demand for aquarium trade.
Is there something we can do? Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Do not touch corals. Yourisk injuries, and you may killthousands of coral polyps. Beresponsible when snorkeling orboating. Be careful where youput your fins and anchor.Don’t catch any coral or part ofthe barrier, and buy it only inauthorized shops from aquacultures. Corals, shells andstarfish are beautifulwhen living in their habitat, ratherthan in your home.
Do not walk on the reef, even with rubber shoes orfins. Each step could damage the slow work ofthousands of living beings, made in hundreds ofyears.Last, don’t pollute. Always throw your waste indesignated areas.