Photo credit: Pat Miller
The Staghorn Coral, Acropora cervicornis, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. With its sister species, A. palmate, it used to be one of the major reef-builders in the Caribbean, and the two are the only staghorn corals in the Atlantic. There are approximately 160 species of staghorn corals worldwide, the rest of which occur in the Indo-Pacific.
Climate change has a wide range of impacts on corals and the reefs they build, the most important of which are bleaching, acid erosion, and increased disease. Climate change also introduces a host of other impacts which may act synergistically with these and local human impacts, including sea level rise, changes to currents, damage from increased storm intensity and frequency, and loss of light from increased river sediment loads.
Staghorn corals are listed on the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and also as ‘THREATENED’ on the US Endangered Species Act. For the Caribbean staghorn species, localized efforts to propagate and reintroduce the species have occurred in Florida, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Honduras.
To learn more about Staghorn Coral, please click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species by clicking their logo below.