Wake Island, also known as Wake Atoll, is an isolated coral atoll in the western Pacific Ocean. The island is a U.S. territory used by the U.S. Air Force. The surrounding marine areas are part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and are home to over a hundred species of reef-building corals, many of which are difficult to identify even by experts. This field guide to some of the most common corals of Wake provides a resource for coral reef scientists, managers, and monitoring teams working on the island. 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 79 coral species in 27 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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