Nov 10, 2016

The third global bleaching event took its toll on Western Australia's super-corals

Ningaloo WA 6701
Australia
by
Verena Schoepf
,
The Conversation
Coral reefs in Australia’s northwest have experienced severe bleaching and coral mortality in 2016. Photo: Steeve Comeau
Coral reefs in Australia’s northwest have experienced severe bleaching and coral mortality in 2016. Photo: Steeve Comeau

Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef has suffered through the worst bleaching event in its history, part of the world’s third mass bleaching event.

However, coral reefs from the other side of the continent have also experienced unprecedented bleaching and coral death. This is bad news because the unique coral reefs of Western Australia’s northwest are home to some of the toughest coral in the world.

Although much less well-known, coral reefs in Western Australia are highly diverse. They include, for example, Australia’s largest fringing reef, the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, as well as Australia’s largest inshore reef, Montgomery Reef which covers 380 square kilometres.