Palau consists of over 300 islands with some of the most extensive coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific. The archipelago is home to several hundred species of reef-building coral species, many of which are difficult to identify even by experts. This field guide to some of the most common corals in Palau provides a resource for coral reef scientists, managers, monitoring teams, and anyone else interested in learning about reef-building corals. Corals are presented in the conventional taxonomic order, because it puts corals that are morphologically similar together, which facilitates learning to distinguish them. A few modifications of that order have been introduced to help put similar looking species closer together. This guide presently has 164 coral species in 54 genera.
Appearing as solitary forms in the fossil record more than 400 million years ago, corals are extremely ancient animals that evolved into modern reef-building forms over the last 25 million years. Continue Reading →
coral reef conservation program
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) is a partnership between the NOAA Line Offices that work on coral reef issues: the National Ocean Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service. The CRCP brings together expertise from across NOAA for a multidisciplinary approach to managing and understanding coral reef ecosystems.
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