-->
Friday, June 21, 2024
spot_img
HomeLifeCaribbean’s Pillar Coral Moved to Critically Endangered List

Caribbean’s Pillar Coral Moved to Critically Endangered List

You know you want it...

Mocka Jumbies and Rum...

- Advertisement -

The chance to snorkel over stands of tan-colored, 6-8 foot tall, finger-like coral could soon be a thing of the past. Pillar Coral, (Dendrogyra cylindrus), found throughout the Caribbean from the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida to Trinidad and Tobago, is now on the Critically Endangered list. This news comes from the December-announced update to the Red List of Threatened Species by the Montreal, Canada-headquartered International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network.

Pillar Coral’s move from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered is because its population has shrunk by over 80% across most of its range since 1990. The most urgent threat to Pillar Coral is Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. This has emerged in the past four years and is highly contagious, infecting between 290- and 320-feet of reef per day. Bleaching caused by increased sea surface temperatures and excess antibiotics, fertilizers, and sewage running into the sea have weakened corals and made them more susceptible to disease. Overfishing around coral reefs has depleted the number of grazing fish, allowing algae to dominate and putting further pressure on corals. On the positive side, research is and has been underway to stop this disease with some successes so far.

Sargassum Weed: Boon or Curse?

“The pillar coral is just one of the 26 corals now listed as Critically Endangered in the Atlantic Ocean, where almost half of all corals are now at elevated risk of extinction due to climate change and other impacts,” says Dr. Beth Polidoro, associate professor at Arizona State University and Red List Coordinator for the IUCN SSC Coral Specialist Group. “These alarming results emphasize the urgency of global cooperation and action to address climate change impacts on ocean ecosystems.” www.iucn.org

Pillar of BVI’s Day Sails – Captain Robin Pinfold

- Advertisement -

The Head Keepers of Modern Day Indonesia

- Advertisement -

Don't Miss a Beat!

Stay in the loop with the Caribbean

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Carol_Bareuther
Carol_Bareuther
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.
RELATED ARTICLES

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -spot_img

Recent Posts

Recent Comments