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Center for Biological Diversity:
Coral Conservation

Miami Herald, August 27, 2014

U.S. designates 20 rare corals as threatened
By Jenny Staletovich

Federal officials deemed 20 kinds of rare coral threatened and added them to the endangered species list Wednesday.

The number falls far short of the 66 reef-building corals the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposed in 2012 after the Center for Biological Diversity asked the government to consider listing 83 species. In its announcement Wednesday, NOAA said a surge in research on climate change and coral habitat helped pare down the number. Of the seven Florida corals considered, five including lobed star, pillar, rough cactus, mountainous and boulder star corals, were listed.

“That designation will give the corals an important safety net,” said Shaye Wolf, the diversity center’s science director. “But we’re also disappointed that many of the corals that needed protection didn’t get it today.”

Reefs, in drastic decline worldwide, provide valuable habitat, help protect coasts and reduce carbon dioxide, a chief factor in rising sea temperatures. As part of the listing, the agency will work to restore the coral, including tending coral nurseries off the coast of South Florida.

 

Copyright 2014 Miami Herald Media Co. 

This article originally appeared here.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton