Protection Sought for 83 Coral Species as Coral Heads for Worldwide Extinction
Source: The Center for Biological Diversity
October 20, 2009
San Francisco, CA - The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a formal petition seeking to protect 83 imperiled coral species under the Endangered Species Act. These corals, all of which occur in U.S. waters ranging from Florida and Hawaii to U.S. territories in the Caribbean and Pacific, face a growing threat of extinction due to rising ocean temperatures caused by global warming, and the related threat of ocean acidification.
Scientists have warned that coral reefs are likely to be the first worldwide ecosystem to collapse due to global warming; all the world's reefs could be destroyed by 2050.
"Coral reefs are the world's most endangered ecosystems and provide an early warning of impacts to come from our thirst for fossil fuels," said Miyoko Sakashita oceans director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "Within a few decades, global warming and ocean acidification threaten to completely unravel magnificent coral reefs that took millions of years to build."
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