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The Great Barrier Reef
Transcript of The Great Barrier Reef
By Caelan Wieczorski and Toby Hardcastle 8D
The Great Barrier Reef is located on the Eastern Queenland coast.
It is approximately 2,300 Kilometres in length
Threatened Species 1 -
Leatherback Sea Turtle
The reef contains:
-1,500 species of fish
-411 types of hard coral
-One-third of the world’s soft corals
-134 species of sharks and rays
-Six of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles
-More than 30 species of marine mammals, including the vulnerable dugong.
The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) stretches 2,300 kilometres along the Queensland coast and includes over 2,900 reefs, and around 940 islands and cays.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is 345,000 square kilometres in size, five times the size of Tasmania or larger that the United Kingdom and Ireland combined.
3 Food chains
The leatherback turtle is the largest of all living turtle species and is the fourth largest modern reptile behind three crocodilians. They can grow to over 2m in length and live up to around 45 years.
It is critically endangered due to being drowned in trawl nets, tangled in fishing and lobster lines, and struck by boats.
Leatherbacks are also frequently choked by plastic bags which they mistake for jellyfish.
Since the leatherback grows slowly and takes decades to reach maturity, more eggs are being collected than being hatched – and the odds of a hatchling surviving to adulthood are extremely slim. In some countries their eggs are harvested.
Threatened Species 2 - Dugong
Australian waters are home to at least three-quarters of the global population of dugongs. They are large herbivorous mammals that can grow up to 3 metres in length and can live for up to 70 years. Their numbers are rapidly decreasing as a result of the loss and degradation of seagrass meadows, fishing pressures, hunting and coastal pollution.
11 armed sea-star
11 armed sea star
Short Spined Urchin
Who did what?
Threatened species 1 and 2
Threats to the Reef
Climate change is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Increasing sea temperature, sea level and water acidity, drastically impact the reef and its wildlife.
Pollution from offshore boats and catchment runoffs is seriously affecting the health of the reef species.
From runoffs pesticide and sediments are washing into the reef and killing the fish and sea flora.
Overfishing is an obvious threat to the reef ecosystem as it disrupts the food chains established and causes unbalance and possible extinction of fish species.
Trawling methods of fishing are also destroying the sea floor and any plant life that is found there.
The angel fish has adapted to the reef system by evolving flatter slimmer bodies allowing for more maneuverability and quicker stops.
The lion fish has adapted its colour scheme to be bright and noticeable, marking it as dangerous to predators.
Other fish have adapted their colours to camouflage instead.