Staghorn and elkhorn corals now protected

Jun 09, 2006

Caribbean elkhorn and staghorn corals Thursday were placed under the protection of the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Conservationists immediately issued a call for a ban on the sale of the corals, which can still be legally sold in shell shops and souvenir stores since the items were collected before the protected status took effect.

The two species of coral are on the list of "threatened" species protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Both species were once dominant builders of Caribbean coral reefs, but during the last 30 years experienced dramatic declines. The new federal protection is an effort to reverse that decline, thought to have been the result of disease, global warming and hurricanes.

"These coral species are now protected to a similar degree as bald eagles and loggerhead turtles here in the United States," said Andrew Baker, an assistant professor at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. "The fact that their dead remains can still be purchased ... reveals how much we need to raise awareness of the plight of these corals. The stigma attached to purchasing elephant tusks or sea turtle shells does not exist for these threatened corals."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: PacifiCorp Energy pleads guilty in bird deaths

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study finds tropical fish moving into temperate waters

13 hours ago

Tropical herbivorous fish are beginning to expand their range into temperate waters – likely as a result of climate change – and a new international study documents the dramatic impact of the intrusion ...

New challenges for ocean acidification research

11 hours ago

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

Uphill battle to tackle Indonesian shark fishing

Dec 17, 2014

Sharks are hauled ashore every day at a busy market on the central Indonesian island of Lombok, the hub of a booming trade that provides a livelihood for local fishermen but is increasingly alarming environmentalists.

Recommended for you

A vegetarian carnivorous plant

11 hours ago

Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.