[Coral-List] FW: Great Barrier Reef news story

Baird, Andrew andrew.baird at jcu.edu.au
Mon Dec 25 23:09:59 EST 2017

Dear Listers

I suspect the article meant to say that it was the first new coral species described from the Great Barrier Reef in the last 30 years. There have been dozens of coral species described over the last 30 years.

However, even this statement would be inaccurate. To the best of my knowledge the most recently described coral species on the GBR is Pocillopora bairdi Schmidt-Roach, 2014 and there have been at least another 2 species from eastern Australia described in the last few years, Pocillopora aliciae Schmidt-Roach, Miller & Andreakis, 2013 and Cyphastrea salae Baird, Hoogenboom & Huang, 2017. 

Sadly, Pocillopora bairdi might well have gone extinct following bleaching on the GBR in 2016 and 2017. 


Baird AH, Hoogenboom MO, Huang D (2017) Cyphastrea salae, a new species of hard coral from Lord Howe Island, Australia (Scleractinia, Merulinidae). ZooKeys 662
Schmidt-Roach S, Miller KJ, Andreakis N (2013) Pocillopora aliciae: a new species of scleractinian coral (Scleractinia, Pocilloporidae) from subtropical Eastern Australia. Zootaxa 3626:576-582
Schmidt-Roach S, Miller KJ, Lundgren P, Andreakis N (2014) With eyes wide open: a revision of species within and closely related to the Pocillopora damicornis species complex (Scleractinia; Pocilloporidae) using morphology and genetics. Zool J Linn Soc 170:1-33

Professor Andrew Baird
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811
Bld 19, room 120

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Douglas Fenner
Sent: Saturday, 23 December 2017 1:42 PM
To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Subject: [Coral-List] Great Barrier Reef news story

Great Barrier Reef Team hunting for bleaching survivors finds first new
coral in 30 years.    (first new on the Great Barrier Reef, that is)



"Dr Veron, who has been diving on the reef for more than 50 years, has seen it deteriorate from ocean warming and agricultural run-off.

"Oh it's horrible. It's like seeing the family home slowly burning, and you scream for a fire-engine … and you just see it falling to bits. It's just awful," he said.

"I think the Great Barrier Reef could be entirely dead within 15 years," Dr Veron said.

"What's much more likely is progressive deterioration," he said.

Cheers,  Doug

Douglas Fenner
Contractor for NOAA NMFS Protected Species, and consultant PO Box 7390 Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

New online open-access field guide to 300 coral species in Chagos, Indian Ocean http://chagosinformationportal.org/corals

Two melting Antarctic glaciers could decide the fate of our coastlines.

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