[Coral-List] Follow-up: NOAA lists 20 new corals

Hughes, Terry terry.hughes at jcu.edu.au
Mon Sep 8 21:01:19 EDT 2014

Dear Jennifer,

A small correction - " The petition was based on occurrence in US waters...". As far as I'm aware, 5 of the 15 Pacific and Indian Ocean corals listed by NOAA have not been recorded in US waters.

I agree with you that the 10 that do overlap with US waters tend to have large geographic ranges - typically around 5 million square kilometres. Some of them are also abundant, often in places that are rarely visited by scientists.

There are numerous online databases of coral ranges, including:

IUCN - Coral Ranges


Hughes, T.P., S.R. Connolly, and S.A. Keith. 2013. Geographic ranges of reef corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia) in the Indo-Pacific. Ecology (Data Paper) 94: 1659. Ecological Archives E094-150. http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/13-0361.1

Wallace, C. 1999. Staghorn Corals of the World. CSIRO Publishing, Australia 438pp.


The first two were largely derived from  earlier maps in Charlie Veron's Corals of the World, which you can also find online.

Cheers, Terry

Professor Terry Hughes FAA

ARC Laureate Fellow

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811


Twitter:  @ProfTerryHughes

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Jennifer Moore - NOAA Federal
Sent: Thursday, 4 September 2014 2:29 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Follow-up: NOAA lists 20 new corals

In response to the posting on the coral list last week of NOAA's coral final listing rule under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA), questions have been raised on the list about the selection of listed species. As explained in the summary at the beginning of the final rule (link below), these ESA listings were in response to a 2009 petition by the US-based environmental group Center for Biological Diversity to list 83 reef-building corals that occur in US waters and were on the IUCN red-list at that time. The ESA requires NOAA to respond to petitions by evaluating the extinction risk of the petitioned species, thus NOAA only considered the 83 species in the petition, not all 800-some reef-building corals in the world. The petition was based on occurrence in US waters, and those areas are generally not within the ranges of species with the smallest ranges (i.e., the species with the greatest extinction risk). Therefore, the final rule does not represent NOAA's view of the most at-risk reef-building coral species in the world, but rather the most at-risk species of the 83 species in the petition.

We welcome any questions on the listing.  Please contact me or Lance Smith in out Pacific Islands Region (lance.smith at noaa.gov<mailto:lance.smith at noaa..gov>).




*Jennifer Moore

ESA Coral Coordinator | Protected Resources Division NOAA Fisheries Service

263 13th Ave South

Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

727-551-5797 phone | 727-824-5309 fax

jennifer.moore at noaa.gov<mailto:jennifer.moore at noaa.gov> <jennifer.moore at noaa.gov<mailto:jennifer.moore at noaa.gov>>

http://coral.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov <http://coral.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov>*


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