EDGE Coral Reefs targets ten threatened species for conservation focus.

15 February 2011

Led by scientists at the Zoological Society of London, UK, the EDGE (evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered) Coral Reefs project has identified ten coral reef species in most urgent danger of extinction. The project will work regionally to support and train in-country conservationists to carry out research and lead protective actions. Part of the solution will be establishing more marine reserves. Initially lasting for two years, the project will begin operating in the “coral triangle” around the Philippines, the Mozambique Channel and the Caribbean Channel.

One of ten target species, the elkhorn coral, has suffered a 95 percent decline in the shallow reefs of the Caribbean in the past three decades. Worldwide corals have suffered badly in 2010 from bleaching, a phenomenon linked to higher sea surface temperatures in which symbiotic zooxanthellae are expelled, leaving the corals unable to synthesize food. EDGE Coral Reefs will emphasize “improving the resilience of the world’s most diverse coral species, ensuring our coral reefs to flourish in the future.”

For more information see: http://www.edgeofexistence.org/.