Posted by: reefrescue | September 5, 2014

NOAA releases the federal Draft Recovery Plan for Staghorn and Elkhorn Corals

Recovery of endangered coral population estimated to take up to 400 years.

Published in the September 5, 2014 Federal Register, NOAA announces the public comment period is open through October 20, 2014

Entire plan available at:

Excerpt from the 162 page Endangered Species Act recovery plan:

Actions Needed: Because many of the important threats to the recovery of elkhorn and staghorn corals are not directly manageable, the recovery strategy must pursue simultaneous actions to:

  • Improve understanding of population abundance, trends, and structure through monitoring and experimental research.
  • Curb ocean warming and acidification impacts to health, reproduction, and growth, and possibly curb disease threats, by reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
  • Determine coral health risk factors and their inter-relationships and implement mitigation or control strategies to minimize or prevent impacts to coral health.
  • Reduce locally-manageable stress and mortality sources (e.g., predation, anthropogenic physical damage, acute sedimentation, nutrients, contaminants).
  • Develop and implement appropriate strategies for population enhancement, through restocking and active management, in the short to medium term, to increase the likelihood of successful sexual reproduction and to increase wild populations.
  • Implement ecosystem-level actions to improve habitat quality and restore keystone species and functional processes such as herbivory to sustain adult colonies and enable successful natural recruitment in the long term.

Date of Recovery: The Recovery Team estimated that it will take approximately 400 years to achieve recovery based on the significant mitigative actions identified in this plan.


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