Photo credit: Dr. Luiz Rocha
The Social Wrasse, Halichoeres socialis, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED‘ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The Social Wrasse is only found in the Pelican Cays of Belize, with a total range of less than 10 km2.
This species is heavily reliant on mangrove wetlands and coral reefs for spawning as well as feeding. In the past ten years, the Belize tourism industry has skyrocketed, and people from all over the world are spending holidays there to enjoy the beautiful beaches and great diving. However, this growing industry has also led to the destruction of many mangrove and coral reef habitats, for development, off mainland Belize and the Pelican Cays. This rapid development and habitat destruction could further limit the already restricted range of the Social Wrasse, and possibly lead to its extinction.
Although the Pelican Cays are classified as a World Heritage Site, there are no measures to prevent further habitat destruction there. The Social Wrasse must be closely monitored and studied in order to develop protective protocols that can save this species and its habitat.
Geographic Range of the Social Wrasse
Credit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™
To learn more about the Social Wrasse, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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