Coral Reef Ecology & Biodiversity
Although they cover less than 0.1% of the earth’s surface, coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystem in the world.
Coral reefs are home to:
- 4,000 species of reef fish
- 840 species of corals
- Over 1 million species of other animals
Why are coral reefs so important?
- 275 million people live within 19 miles (30km) of coral reefs.
- Over 100 countries benefit from the recreational value of coral reefs.
- 350 million people travel to coral reefs each year.
Coral reefs are at the center of many coastal and island cultures around the world. For example, in the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation chant, the coral polyp was the first organism created, and from that all other life forms sprung forth.
Though coral reefs face numerous threats, we can save them by keeping them healthy.