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Will US Branching Corals Get Full ESA Protection?


ReefDispatch <[log in to unmask]>


Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>


Tue, 9 Aug 2005 12:30:53 -0400





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* August 9, 2005 *
* R E E F D I S P A T C H *
* _________________________ *
* Branching Corals Need *
* Public Support to Win *
* Endangered Act Protection *
* *
* -- sign on via -- *

A Periodic Inside Look at a Coral Reef Issue from
Alexander Stone, ReefGuardian International Director

Dear Friend of Coral Reefs,

After being prompted by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S.
National Marine Fisheries Service ("NMFS") has proposed protecting
elkhorn and staghorn corals as "threatened" under the Endangered
Species Act, a major advancement for coral reef conservation.
However, NMFS has not proposed fused-staghorn coral for protection, has
not created a proposal to protect the corals' critical habitats, and has
only proposed protecting the corals as "threatened," rather than

U.S. branching corals need you to actively stand up for them by signing
onto the "Featured Petition" at , to
ask NMFS to provide full protection for branching corals by protecting
all three at-risk species as "endangered" and by designating critical
habitat for them as soon as possible.

Elkhorn, staghorn, and fused-staghorn corals were once the primary
components of coral reef ecosystems throughout the Caribbean. But since
the 1970s, these three species have declined by over 97% in nearly every
location that scientists have systematically studied. Coral diseases and
global warming are threatening the continued existence of these species,
but fortunately the Endangered Species Act can provide resource
managers with tools to combat these threats once full Endangered
Species Act protections are provided. IF NMFS takes full-protection
action for these species.

That's why it's so important that you go to our newly updated website
( and click onto the Featured Petition, so
you can add your voice to the demand for full Endangered Species Act
protection for staghorn, elkhorn and fused-staghorn coral... before they
completely disappear.

Thanks so much for caring!

Alexander Stone
ReefGuardian International

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