08/01/2018 at 5:42 pm #79917
I hope somebody here can help me out.
After this latest outbreak of Crown of Thorns, I decided to google the subject and am now confused. I read that the Crown of Thorns is ‘native to the Great
I did not think this was the case. I recall my Father talking about this when I was quite young. I remember there was someone??? (maybe a Professor) in either Townsville or Cairns and he recommended introducing the Crown of Thorns Starfish to control an outbreak of something else. Sadly, can’t remember what that was.
Just wondered if anybody had any thoughts on this. I grew up in Mackay and my Father loved the water and the reef, fishing and building boats.09/01/2018 at 9:15 am #79925
That is confusing. I thought they’d been introduced, but they are apparently native to the Indo-Pacific region. I only know that through reading up on them . This is part of an article I saw.
The crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) is native to coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority works closely with key partners to manage ongoing mitigation and monitoring of crown-of-thorns starfish on the Reef.
On healthy coral reefs, the coral-eating starfish plays an important role, as it tends to feed on the fastest growing corals such as staghorn and plate corals, allowing slower growing coral species to form colonies. This helps increase coral diversity. However, outbreaks of the venomous starfish pose one of the most significant threats to the Great Barrier Reef.
According to research by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, coral cover on surveyed reefs between 1985 and 2012 declined by about 50 per cent over that 27 year period. Crown-of-thorns starfish were responsible for almost half of this decline.
Research estimates that if crown-of-thorns starfish predation had not occurred over the past three decades, there would have been a net increase in average coral cover.
Cyclic outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish occur approximately every 17 years. There have been four documented outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef since the 1960s, with the latest starting in 2010. We will update our current conditions with any new crown-of-thorns outbreaks.
To minimise the impact of high numbers of crown-of-thorns starfish, short and long-term strategies are being used to address the current outbreak and to reduce the potential impact of future outbreaks.
Crown-of-thorns starfish spawn during the warmer months (around October to February), with large females capable of producing up to 65 million eggs over the spawning season.
Predators of adult crown-of-thorns starfish include the giant triton snail, the humphead Maori wrasse, starry pufferfish and titan trigger fish. Predators of the starfish in its younger life stages are less known.”
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