One of the cool facts about the Great Barrier Reef is it is home to six out of the seven turtle species. Fortunately the same is true of the solutions – what you do at home will also benefit the Reef. Considering its incredible size, the Great Barrier Reef is home to various animals. In general, fish, reef sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and even some whales can be seen among the reef. Areas of international significance for migratory and resident species of shorebirds are found on, or adjacent, to the Great Barrier Reef. (26) Animals large and small live close to the reef. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority acknowledges the continuing sea country management and custodianship of the Great Barrier Reef by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners whose rich cultures, heritage values, enduring connections and shared efforts protect the Reef for … Among the other marine animals you may find squid and octopus (like the blue-ringed octopus or cuttlefish), reptiles like sea turtles, or different species of whales and sharks. Allen Farmer narrates 2 hour special for Animal Planet. (25) Larger animals living near the reef include jellyfish, octopuses, and saltwater crocodiles as well as over 1,600 species of fish, over 20 species of seabirds, and about 30 species of marine mammals, including dolphins and whales. Right here you can learn even more about our Reef and the amazing animals that depend on it. Here's a rundown of indigenous creatures—including fish, corals, mollusks, echinoderms, jellyfish, sea snakes, marine turtles, sponges, whales, dolphins, seabirds, and shorebirds—that inhabit one of the world's most complex ecosystems. These species of conservation concern include inshore dolphins, whales, dugongs, sawfish, sea snakes, marine turtles and some fish and sharks. Meanwhile, there are some sponge species that help recycle calcium carbonate from dying corals. The Great Barrier Reef is home to a stunning array of animals, from microscopic plankton to whales weighing more than 100 tonnes. Protected species are those that are protected by law and need special management. Animals of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Fish. Their natural predators are sharks and also saltwater crocodiles that venture into the region only occasionally—but often with bloody consequences. This means the ecosystem services it provides are worth trillions of dollars per year. Sitting in a global hotspot of sea snake diversity, the Great Barrier Reef is home to 14 different species of sea snake. Measuring a mere cubic centimeter (about the same size as a green pea, pencil eraser tip, or a chocolate chip), the Irukandji jellyfish, is one of the world’s tiniest—and most venomous jellyfish species. The main threats to the survival of GBR are environmental changes, water pollution, and the rapidly reproducing crown-of-thorns starfish – a species of starfish that feeds on coral polyps. Like all reptiles, sea snakes are equipped with lungs, but they can absorb a small amount of oxygen from water and have specialized glands that excrete excess salt. At least 150 species known from the Great Barrier Reef. An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. 1625 species of fish, including 1400 coral reef species, More than 3000 species of molluscs (shells), 630 species of echinoderm (starfish, sea urchins), 215 species of birds including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds, Six of the world's seven species of marine turtle, One of the world's most important dugong populations, Bryzoans: around 950 species of tiny animals that form coral-like colonies and are often confused with corals, Worms: about 500 species have been recorded along the Great Barrier Reef, Marine insects and spiders: likely to be greater than five species of marine spider and more than 20 species of marine insects, Plankton: a major food source for a number of species. These large, vaguely comical-looking mammals are strictly herbivorous, feeding on the numerous aquatic plants of the Great Barrier Reef. Great Barrier Reef animals 21- Turtles are as old as dinosaurs. As coral colonies die, new ones grow atop the limestone skeletons of their predecessors, creating the reef's three-dimensional architecture. Dugong. White sharks, tiger sharks, and even hammerhead sharks live in this ecosystem. I’m assuming that what you are asking here is: “What is the most dangerous animal to humans in the Great Barrier Reef?” There are two contenders here in the great white shark and the irukandji jelly fish. The exception is the crown-of-thorns starfish, which feeds on the soft tissues of corals and can cause drastic declines in coral populations if left unchecked. The signature group of the Great Barrier Reef with more than 450 species known. This group includes  clams, oysters, squid, octopus, cuttlefish, nautilus, nudibranchs, chitons and snails. In open water fish have adapted bodies to swim faster, but within the coral reefs fish have adapted bodies that are flat (like a pancake) and maneuverable. In 1996, this reef system was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Great Barrier Reef is an important habitat for dugong. Jump on in to learn more about our Reef! Spot the difference. Nathan Reef is a large mostly submerged reef in the Cairns section of the Great Barrier Reef. By working closely with the state and federal government and the community, threats to species can be identified and appropriate management actions can occur. There are also concerns for the future sustainability of black jewfish and some species of sharks. The largest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef off the northeastern coast of Australia, consists of more than 2,900 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays, and thousands of animal species. The Great Barrier Reef is home to a diverse array of animals including 1,625 species of fish, 1,400 coral reef species, more than 3,000 species of molluscs, six of the world’s seven species of marine turtle, 133 species of sharks and rays and 30 species of whales and dolphins. "Human divers are ... the starfish, but not other animals in the area. Some varieties of mangrove occur in the northern cays. Many animals come to the Great Barrier Reef to mate and birth their young. About 630 species recorded along the Great Barrier Reef, with starfish perhaps being the most well known. Sea turtles are some of the most beloved inhabitants of the reef, and many visitors will have the chance to see them. The Great Barrier Reef is a refuge for many species of conservation concern. The only reliable remedy is maintaining populations of the crown-of-thorn's natural predators, including the giant triton snail and the starry puffer fish. Six of the worlds seven species of marine turtle occur on the Great Barrier Reef with globally significant nesting areas for four of these found in the Region. Of course, jellyfish aren’t fish at all, but rather a gelatinous form of invertebrate zooplankton (Cnidaria), whose bodies are comprised of as much as 98% water. The Great Barrier Reef is a refuge for many species of conservation concern. Around 1625 of bony fish species including important commercial species such as coral trout. The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 1500 species of fish, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 200 species of birds, 6 species of sea turtles and so much more. Unfortunately, marine plastic is not restricted by State boundaries, so the plastic pollution that affects the Great Barrier Reef (the ‘Reef’) may have originated from anywhere along the east coast. Lucky snorkelers might spot beautiful reef fish, turtles and even dugongs on the reefs around Dunk island. Wherever there are fish and mollusks, there will be pelagic birds, which nest on nearby islands or the Australian... Dugongs… Although they're not as visible as other animals, the 5,000 or so species of sponges along the Great Barrier Reef perform essential ecological functions that pave the way for new generations and maintaining the reef's overall health. All of these turtles—like many animals of the reef—are currently classified as either vulnerable or endangered species. While there is a lot known about some animals that make the Reef home, vast amounts of information and species are yet to be discovered. Wherever there are fish and mollusks, there will be pelagic birds, which nest on nearby islands or the Australian coastline and venture out to the Great Barrier Reef for frequent meals. To report sick, injured or dead marine animals call the Wildlife Hotline on 1300 130 372. Often colourful and common reef animals. Around 40 species recorded along the Great Barrier Reef. Dugong. With their swaying bodies and jelly like feel, soft corals bodies are made up of a large number of polyps connected by fleshy tissue. The Great Barrier Reef consists of about 3,000 individual reefs of coral, and the biodiversity they contain is remarkable. This high number of different species is largely due to the Marine Park's variety of suitable habitat. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers 35 million hectares with 2,900 individual reefs of varying sizes. The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef, covers nearly 133,000 square miles and is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 species … The relatively warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef make it a favored destination for about 30 species of dolphins and whales. These species of conservation concern include inshore dolphins, whales, dugongs, sawfish, sea snakes, marine turtles and some fish and sharks. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. Also known as stony corals, hard corals congregate in shallow tropical waters and help build coral reefs, growing in various aggregations including mounds, plates, and branches. Clown fish ( Amphiprion percula) among sea anemones in the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Animal Adaptations: Due to the complex structures of coral reefs, with their many nooks, crannies, and hiding spaces, fish have adapted a body structure to easily maneuver through the coral. Around 30 per cent of Australia's sponge species are found in the Great Barrier Reef. Humpback whales are one of the largest cetaceans on the planet and they also live in the Great Barrier Reef to reproduce.Dolphins, minke whales, Hong Kong pink dolphins, and dugongs are also found there. A man has been attacked by a shark at Britomart Reef, about 150km north of Townsville. The most spectacular and entertaining cetacean of the Great Barrier Reef is the humpbacked whale. Large adult jellyfish are often accompanied by small fish which hide amongst their tentacles for protection. This ecosystem is also notable for zig-zag oysters, octopuses, squid, cowries (the shells of which were once used as money by Australia's indigenous tribes), bivalves, and sea slugs. Sometimes reputed to be the source of the mermaid myth, Dugongs are often thought to be closely related to dolphins and whales. On Heron Island alone, you can find birds as diverse as the bar-shouldered dove, black-faced cuckoo shrike, Capricorn silver eye, buff-banded rail, sacred kingfisher, silver gull, eastern reef egret, and white-bellied sea eagle, all of which rely on the nearby reef for their nutrition. We start this list off with a fish that is popular amongst aquarium enthusiasts as a result of their small size, simple… Some of these marine mammals ply the waters virtually year-round, others swim to the region to give birth and raise young, while others simply pass through during their annual migrations. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the underwater world alongside such phenomena as Lake Baikal and the Belize Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef's 600 or so species of echinoderms—the order that includes starfish, sea stars, and sea cucumbers—are mostly good citizens, constituting an essential link in the food chain and helping maintain the reef's overall ecology. Today, upwards of 50,000 dugongs are believed to be in the vicinity of Australia, an encouraging upturn in numbers for this still-endangered sirenian. Jupiterimages/Thinkstock. The freed calcium carbonate, in turn, ends up being incorporated into the bodies of mollusks and diatoms. Around 1300 species, including a number that are commercially important (for example, some species of crabs and prawns). great barrier reef animals, ... eats away at coral reefs, including the embattled Great Barrier Reef. About 30 million years ago, a population of terrestrial Australian snakes ventured toward the sea. The Great Barrier Reef is a totally unique ecosystem that’s home to thousands of interesting species! https://deepoceanfacts.com/endangered-animals-great-barrier-reef The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef.It is near the coast of Queensland, Australia.It is made up of nearly 2900 coral reefs and over 600 islands. Mollusks are a widely divergent order of animals, including species clams, oysters, and cuttlefish. https://patreon.com/freeschool - Help support more content like this! Apart from cetaceans, there are also other large marine animals: almost thirty sharks and stingray species. Still more species make the Great Barrier Reef home and these include: Click on the image to download the poster, Statement: from Marine Park Authority Board, How to make a Public Interest Disclosure (PID), Legislation, regulations, agreements and policies, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019, Great Barrier Reef Intergovernmental Agreement, Local Marine Advisory Committee Communiques, Naming of reefs and undersea geographic features, Dent Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan, Lady Elliot Island Lightstation Heritage Management Plan, National Science Week virtual event series, Field Management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Douglas Shoal environmental remediation project, International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), Tourism Industry Activation and Reef Protection Initiative, Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program, Waste (including sewage), chemicals and litter, Choosing a high standard tourism operation, Townsville/Whitsundays site specific management, Mackay/Capricorn site specific management, Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Strategy, Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreements, Tourism responses to environmental incidents, Master Reef Guides - Cairns and Reef-wide, Master Reef Guides - Townsville and the Whitsundays, Differences between the Marine Park and the World Heritage Area, Flora and fauna of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. There are more than 100 recorded species of jellyfish in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef, including the infamous stinging blue bottles and box jellyfish. 133 species are found along the Great Barrier Reef and range from small, cryptic species such as the epaulette shark to large, migratory species such as the whale shark. The Great Barrier Reef is home to about 360 species of hard coral, including bottlebrush coral, bubble coral, brain coral, mushroom coral, staghorn coral, tabletop coral, and needle coral. ", Crown-Of-Thorns Starfish Are Gorgeous Killers, How the Sixth Mass Extinction Affects the U.S. Economy, Animals Most Endangered by Global Warming. While they share a "last common ancestor" with modern elephants, dugongs are cousins to the manatee. This bright and colourful coral reef is very popular with birdwatching enthusiasts, snorkelers and divers. The relationships between these animals are remarkable. clown fish in the Great Barrier Reef. It is made up of a collection of over 2,900 individual coral reefs and 600 idyllic islands that stretch for 2,300 km along the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia in the Coral Sea in the Pacific Ocean. Damselfish, wrasses, and tusk fish are among the most abundant fish on the reef. All sea snake species are venomous but are much less of a threat to humans than terrestrial species such as cobras, Eastern corals, or copperheads. The estuarine crocodile can be found in most coastal waters and around many of the islands and cays of the Great Barrier Reef. More than just fish and coral, the Reef supports: The different types of animals found along the Reef help make it one of the richest and most complex natural systems on Earth. In general, sponges are near the bottom of the food chain, providing nutrients for more complex animals. Seven species of sea turtles frequent the Great Barrier Reef: the green turtle, loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle, flatback turtle, Pacific ridley turtle, and leatherback turtle. While jellyfish lack brains or hearts, some, including the box jellyfish, can see. Marine biologists believe there are at least 5,000 and possibly as many as 10,000 species of mollusks inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef, the most visible being the giant clam, which can weigh up to 500 pounds. Over fishing has caused significant population declines of saucer scallop (Amusium balloti), east coast Australian snapper (Pagrus auratus) and pearl perch (Glaucosoma scapulare). Over-fishing and illegal fishing can compromise the long-term sustainability of stocks and impact the resilience of the marine ecosystem. The more than 1,500 species of fish inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef range from tiny gobies and larger bony fishes, such as tusk fish and potato cods, up to massive cartilaginous fish such as manta rays, tiger sharks, and whale sharks. But those aren’t the only species to be wary of. We work to protect marine animal species that are threatened, iconic or at risk. We work to protect marine animal species that are threatened, iconic or at risk. Lucky visitors can catch glimpses of the five-ton dwarf minke whale and the bottlenose dolphin, which like to travel in groups. Today, about 15 sea snakes are endemic to the Great Barrier Reef, including the large olive sea snake and the banded sea krait. Birds. More than 30 species of marine mammals are found along the Great Barrier Reef. Aside from classic fish the Great Barrier Reef is also home to plenty of shellfish like giant clams, peacock mantis shrimp, and boxer crabs. Ascidians/tunicates: sometimes called sea squirts, this group of around 720 species provide another splash of colour to the Great Barrier Reef. Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) The cuttlefish is a master of disguise, with the ability to change its … Dugong loves to be around the sea grass throughout the tropical water just like in the Indo … It is the largest reef of its type in the northern hemisphere and is second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is 327,800 km² big and 2600 km long. There are also blennies, butterflyfish, triggerfish, cowfish, pufferfish, angelfish, anemone fish, coral trout, seahorses, sea perch, sole, scorpionfish, hawkfish, and surgeonfish. It has been listed an important World Heritage Site by UNESCO.The Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure made by living things. Marine biologists believe this creature’s complex sensory array makes it one of only a handful of species on the planet to have a full 360° view of the world around it. Predating dinosaurs, Jellyfish are some of the Earth’s oldest creatures. The box jellyfish has 24 “eyes” (visual sensors) two of which are capable of interpreting and differentiating color. This is just a taste of the variations of marine life lingering among the reef. More than 3000 species known from the Great Barrier Reef. In terms of size, it is as big as Germany or Japan and half as big as Texas. Six sea turtle species breed in the waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority acknowledges the continuing sea country management and custodianship of the Great Barrier Reef by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners whose rich cultures, heritage values, enduring connections and shared efforts protect the Reef for future generations. Though you may try to classify it as a dolphin or a shark, the dugong is actually a manatee … Marine turtles are partial to feeding on several of the Great Barrier Reef's indigenous jellyfish species, while some smaller fish use them as protection, swimming in tandem with them and hiding in the tangle of their tentacles to ward off predators. All six species are classified as threatened as a result of pressures both from within the Great Barrier Reef Region and elsewhere. Islands and cays along the Great Barrier Reef support breeding populations of 22 seabird species. Belize has a tremendously diverse reef region housing over 65 species of coral and 500 species of fish. There are also venomous sea snakes, brightly colored worms, and large algae. The dwarf minke whale and the humpback whale are just two of many sea creatures that… Six different species visit the reef, including the green, flatback, hawksbill, olive ridley, loggerhead and leatherback. Stunningly beautiful footage of the remarkable Great Barrier Reef. The Schmidt Ocean Institute posted the video of the Great Barrier Reef ocean-dwellers. Green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles nest on coral cays, while flatback turtles prefer continental islands, and the green and leatherback turtles reside on mainland Australia, only occasionally foraging as far out as the Great Barrier Reef. Bottlenose dolphins, humpback and dwarf minke whales are frequently seen while other species such as Bryde's whales are seldom seen or perhaps seldom recognised. Bob Strauss is a science writer and the author of several books, including "The Big Book of What, How and Why" and "A Field Guide to the Dinosaurs of North America. There are animals you would probably recognize, such as dolphins, turtles, crocodiles, and sharks. More than 100 species recorded along the Great Barrier Reef, including blue bottles and box jellyfish. The Great Barrier Reef supports a vast array of life forms. 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