GBR latest survey update

Kate Osborne kosborne at
Mon Oct 28 23:41:31 EST 2002

Annual surveys of the Southern section of the GBR were completed in
September, 2002.

Please go to to read the latest survey
update. A brief summary of the main findings is:

Active outbreaks of Crown of Thorns starfish (COTS) were observed on four of
seven survey reefs in the Swain sector: Gannet Cay, Horseshoe Reef, Chinaman
Reef and Turner Cay. In each case the outbreaks have been underway for
several years and have resulted in declines in reef wide live coral cover.
Small numbers of COTS, below outbreak levels, were also observed on East
Cay. No COTS were observed in the Capricorn/Bunker sector. In the Pompey
sector small numbers of COTS, below outbreak levels, were observed on
Credlin (North) Reef. Reef wide live coral cover has declined on this reef
since the last survey. This decline is likely due more to the effects of
bleaching in 2001/02 than low-level COTS predation.

SCUBA searches showed a substantial increase in numbers of diseased coral
colonies on all reefs in Capricorn / Bunker sector and several reefs in the
Swain sector.

Kate Osborne
Reef Monitoring
P.M.B 3, Townsville MC, 4810
ph 61 7 47534354 ~~~~~~~ For directions on subscribing and
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