1. ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDO-PACIFIC REGION

CORAL STATUS 

• Coral reefs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands are ecologically the most diverse within the Indo-Pacific region
• Scleractinian corals play an important role in maintaining the marine biodiversity of this area
• 418 species belonging to 17 families of corals have been identified so far
• Twice as many coral species compared to any reef areas of India*
• More than 400 species of hard corals indicate importance of this archipelago (Zoological Survey of India)

2. BIRD’S HEAD PENINSULA, NORTHWESTERN PAPUA

CORAL STATUS 

• 574 species – which is 95% of the Coral Triangle’s* and 72% of the world’s total population
• Raja Ampat sits within this region, the world’s coral diversity hotspot with 553 species

3. RED SEA

CORAL STATUS

• Egypt’s coastline possesses a significant proportion and considerable range of the coral reefs found in the Red Sea with about 3800km2 of reef habitat
• Among the 300 hard coral species found in the Red Sea, two thirds are found in the Egyptian reefs, including a good number of endemic species
• The northern part of the Red Sea has the highest coral diversity
• Red Sea coral reefs are particularly well developed in the north and central portions (off the coasts of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan), with large sizable offshore reef complexes containing small islands, fringing reefs, and a variety of reef-associated habitats.

4. PALAU, MICRONESIA

CORAL STATUS

Abundance of coral reef habitat types
• Covers approx. 525 km²
• Includes barrier reefs, fringing reefs and atoll habitats with 1,457 patch reefs scattered throughout the lagoons
• While no corals are endemic to Palau, the archipelago’s coral diversity is comparable to the highest coral diversity areas of Indonesia and Australia
• These reefs are host to 385 coral species (approximately 200 species of soft corals) belonging to 66 genera.

5. GREAT BARRIER REEF, NORTHEAST COAST OF AUSTRALIA

• World’s largest collection of coral reefs
• More than 400 different types of corals in 60 genera
• Most extensive coral reef ecosystem
• 2,500 individual reefs of varying sizes and shapes as well as spectacular coral assemblages of hard
(approximately 360 species) and soft corals

For the rest of this article (Asian Diver Issue 2/2014, Vol.131) and other stories, check out our past issues here or download digital copy here.

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