Coral Reefs

Coral reefs, along with seagrass beds, mangrove habitats and other tropical marine environments, support the highest marine biodiversity in the world. More than 500 million people worldwide depend on them for food, storm protection, jobs, and recreation. Their resources and services are worth an estimated 375 billion dollars each year, yet they cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface.

Corals in decline

As the diagram below shows, corals are in severe decline. IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme is involved in on the ground efforts to help reverse this decline. Go to projects to read more.


The IUCN Red List Index

The IUCN Red List Index

Photo: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

The IUCN Red List Index The IUCN Red List Index reveals trends in the overall extinction risk of species. A decreasing value means the expected rate of extinction is increasing (i.e. the rate of biodiversity loss is increasing). This diagram shows the expected rate of extinction for several taxa with corals showing the highest loss in biodiversity.

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Grouper peeking through a sea fan coral

Crunch time for Caribbean corals

Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, 7 September 2012 (IUCN) – Time is running out for corals on Caribbean reefs. Urgent measures must be taken to limit pollution and regulate aggressive fishing practices that threaten the existence of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems, according to a new IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) report. …   | French | Spanish

07 Sep 2012 | International news release
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Marine Protected Areas Rangers - IUCN @ Nakari Red Sea Diving Safari

A boost for Marine Protected Area Rangers of the Egyptian Red Sea

Red Sea Rangers patrol and protect a substantial portion of the Egyptian Red Sea.  Their mandate under the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) in the Ministry of the Environment is more than just enforcement, as they also aim to raise public awareness on the protection of the Marine Parks by monitoring tourist dive boats and by installing and maintaining moorings. As such, these rangers need to be trained in many field skills relevant to marine management and operations. …  

30 Jun 2012 | News story

Coral reefs 14, Koh Bon island, Thailand