[Coral-List] NOAA Documents and photographs recent bleaching episode at Buck Island Reef, St. Croix

chris jeffrey chris.jeffrey at noaa.gov
Fri Dec 9 11:00:08 EST 2005

Hi Coral Listers,

Please visit 
<http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/coralreef/reef_fish.html> to view 
data collected and photos taken by NOAA scientists during the recent 
bleaching event in the Virgin Islands.  Widespread bleaching or the loss 
of symbiotic algae was observed in 21 coral species or 53% of corals at 
91 randomly selected sites with depths from 9-91 feet in the Buck Island 
Reef National Monument (BIRNM), St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands during 
October 16-27, 2005.  Researchers from NCCOS and the South 
Florida-Caribbean Network of National Parks (NPS-SFCN) found that some 
species were more than 90% bleached (e.g., /D. labrynthiformis, 
Agaricia/ spp., /Mycetophyllia/ spp., and /M. annularis/), whereas other 
corals had no bleaching (e.g., /A. cervicornis/; /D. cylindricus/, 
/Eusmilia/ spp., and /Scolymia/ spp.).  Based on satellite data from the 
National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, water 
temperatures in the northeastern Caribbean were warmer than normal 
(above 28.5^o ) for about 12 weeks and may have contributed to the 
observed bleaching event.  Prolonged bleaching can be lethal to corals 
and, along with disease and pollution, may have contributed to the loss 
of about 10% of the world's coral reefs within the past decade.  For 
more information, contact:  Chris Jeffrey (CCMA) at (301) 713-3028 x 134 
or chris.jeffrey at noaa.gov, or Randall Clark (CCMA) at (301) 713-3028 x 
160 or randy.clark at noaa.gov, or visit 


Christopher F.G. Jeffrey, Ph.D.

Coral Reef Ecologist 
NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Program
301.713.3028 x-134 (Tel)
301.713.4384 (Fax)

Mailing Address:
National Ocean Service
1305 East-West Hwy, SSMC-4, N/SCI-1, #9213
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3281

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