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Endangered Animals of the Great Barrier Reef

By: Elisa

Endangered Animals of the Great Barrier Reef



Table of contents 1 Endangered Sea Turtles of the 2 Other Endangered Animals of the 3 Why is the GBR Endangered? 4 5 6 7 About the 9


The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s Fun Fact largest coral reef and is located along the Did you know that the great barrier northeast coast of Australia. At 2300 reef can be seen from space? kilometers long, it is also the world’s biggest biological structure. The reef contains one third of the worlds soft coral, 411 species of hard coral and many of the worlds endangered species.


from spa


The reef


Endangered Sea Turtles of the GBR There are seven different species of sea turtles and sadly, most of them are endangered. The seven species are: Loggerhead, Leatherback, Green, Hawksbill, Flatback, Olive Ridley and Kemp's Ridley.

There are many natural threats to sea turtles, human activities are the main reasons why their numbers are plummeting. The biggest problem for them is the longline fishing technique. The turtles get caught on the hooks and drown. Many humans hunt the turtles for food. During the night, turtle hunters wait for the female turtles to finish laying her eggs then they kill her and take the eggs. Other reasons why sea turtles are endangered include, capturing, harvesting their eggs, destroying beaches, oil spills, ocean pollution and getting tangled in fishing nets.

Now, the Flatback sea turtle is so limited, it can only be found in the waters of Papua New Guinea and Australia. A threat to the Hawksbill sea turtle is that humans hunt them for their beautiful brown and gold shells. As of that, the hawksbill sea turtle is stuck on the critically endangered list. Scientist’s recent studies have proven that the population of sea turtles have declined by 90 percent in the past 100 years.

Green Sea Turtle

A Hawksbill


Other Endangered Animals of the GBR The Dugong is a close relative to the manatee. Even though dugongs can live up to seventy years, they only have babies every three to seven years, so their numbers can decrease fast. Like a lot of other sea creatures, they can get caught in fishing nets and die. Their habitats are also threatened by pollution and trash.

A Dugong

The biggest threat to whales are getting entangled in fishing nets. Some of their other threats are hunting, ship accidents and pollution of their habitats

A breaching Humpback whale


Why is the GBR endangered?

The Great Barrier Reef is endangered because of many reasons. Climate change is the biggest threat to the reef. As temperature rises, so does ocean acidification levels. If there is too much acid in the oceans, the corals will grow slower and soon, there won’t be any reefs left. One third of the GBR is exposed to nutrient pollution which increases the population of the crown of thorns starfish, a carnivorous starfish with many legs and feeds of coral polyp, which is bad for the coral. Also, pesticides wash into the reef after the weeds are dead, overfishing damages the sea floor and there is a lot of pollution.


Glossary Soft coral - squishy leathery feel, marine algae live on soft coral which is an important food in the food chain. hard coral - also called stony coral, found in shallow tropical waters, most common type in the great barrier reef is staghorn, a large type of coral with antler-like branches. Longline Fishing- a way of fishing when hundreds or thousands of baited hooks hang from one line. Biological- related to biology or living organisms Nutrient- a substance that provides food for your health Species- types of animals or insects Plummeting- dropping really fast Critically- is crucial, has the nature of a crisis Polyp- a cnidarian that has a cylinder-shaped body, is surrounded by tentacles and is found on corals


Index Climate change: 4

Nutrient pollution: 4

Coral: 1

Olive Ridley: 2

Dugongs: 3

Pollution: 4

Flatback: 2

Sea Turtles: 2

Green: 2 Hawksbill: 2 Kemp’s Ridley: 2 Leatherback: 2 Loggerhead: 2 Longline fishing: 4


Bibliography A Humpback Whale Breaches in the Waters of Northern New South Wales. (Credit: Getty Images). N.d. Photograph. New South Wales.

Dugong. 2008. Photograph. N.p.

"Australia's Great Barrier Reef." Coral Reef: Great Barrier Reef. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.

"Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest." Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

Bruckner, Andy. Sea Turtle Photos. N.d. Photograph. N.p. Clouds of Reef Fish and Corals, French Frigate Shoals, NWHI. N.d. Photograph. Australia.

"Flatback Sea Turtles." Flatback Sea Turtles. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

Conserving the Great Barrier Reef. N.d. Photograph. Australian Conservation Foundation, Australia.

Green Turtle Chelonia Mydas Great Barrier Reef, Australia. 2008. Photograph. N.p.

"Coral." BrainPOP. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.

"Great Barrier Reef Coral - Species, Pictures and Types of Corals." Great Barrier Reef Australia. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.

"Crown-of-thorns Starfish." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Nov. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.


Bibliography (cont.) "Great Barrier Reef: Endangered Animals for Kids." Great Barrier Reef: Endangered Animals for Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2014. GREAT BARRIER REEF. 2012. Photograph. University of Minnesota, Minnesota. "Great Barrier Reef." Wwf. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

Scenes Of Lady Elliot Barrier Reef Eco Island. 2012. Photograph. N.p. "Sea Turtle." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Oct. 2013. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. "Threats to the Great Barrier Reef." Wwf. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

Humpback Mom and Baby. N.d. Photograph. N.p. "Information About Sea Turtles: Threats from Harvest for Consumption." N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2014. "Information About Sea Turtles: Threats from Illegal Shell Trade." N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2014. "Pesticides Running into the Great Barrier Reef." Wwf. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. "Sea Turtles - Endangered Marine Life GreenPacks." GreenPacksorg. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.


About the Author

Elisa is the author of Endangered Life in the Great Barrier Reef. She is from France and China and has a little sister called Emilie. Elisa really hopes that one day all pollution will disappear and all animals can live in peace.


Endangered Animals of the Great Barrier Reef  

This book is about the endangered animals of the Great Barrier Reef.

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