|Scientific Name:||Alveopora gigas|
|Species Authority:||Veron, 1985|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable A4c ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Sheppard, A., Fenner, D., Edwards, A., Abrar, M. & Ochavillo, D.|
|Reviewer(s):||Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J. (Global Marine Species Assessment)|
This species is widespread, and is typically uncommon throughout its range. However, it is particularly susceptible to bleaching, harvesting for aquarium trade, and extensive reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats. Specific population trends are unknown, but population reduction can be inferred from declines in habitat quality based on the combined estimates of both destroyed reefs and reefs at the critical stage of degradation within its range (Wilkinson 2004). Its threat susceptibility increases the likelihood of being lost within one generation in the future from reefs at a critical stage. Therefore, the estimated habitat degradation and loss of 41% over three generation lengths (30 years) is the best inference of population reduction and meets the threshold for Vulnerable under Criterion A4c. It will be important to reassess this species in 10 years time because of predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification.
|Range Description:||This species is found in the central Indo-Pacific, north and west and south Australia, and eastern Australia. It has also been recorded from the Philippines (Fenner pers. comm.), Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape (Turak pers. comm.), and Hong Kong (Chan et al. 2005).|
Native:Australia; China; Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Taiwan, Province of China
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:|
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This species is common and conspicuous at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-west Australia, and is considered uncommon elsewhere.|
There is no species specific population information available for this species. However, there is evidence that overall coral reef habitat has declined, and this is used as a proxy for population decline for this species. This species is particularly susceptible to bleaching, disease, and other threats and therefore population decline is based on both the percentage of destroyed reefs and critical reefs that are likely to be destroyed within 20 years (Wilkinson 2004). We assume that most, if not all, mature individuals will be removed from a destroyed reef and that on average, the number of individuals on reefs are equal across its range and proportional to the percentage destroyed reefs. Reef losses throughout the species' range have been estimated over three generations, two in the past and one projected into the future.
The age of first maturity of most reef building corals is typically three to eight years (Wallace 1999) and therefore we assume that average age of mature individuals is greater than eight years. Furthermore, based on average sizes and growth rates, we assume that average generation length is 10 years, unless otherwise stated. Total longevity is not known, but likely to be more than ten years. Therefore any population decline rates for the Red List assessment are measured over at least 30 years. See the supplementary material for further details on population decline and generation length estimates.
|Current Population Trend:||Unknown|
|Habitat and Ecology:||This species is found in protected turbid environments, generally to a depth of 30 m.|
|Generation Length (years):||10|
Species of this genus are attractive to the aquarium trade due to their physical appearance. Threats to this species therefore include coral removal and harvesting for display in aquariums and for the curio-trade. In addition, the Alveopora genus was ranked as having the highest bleaching response and is in the top ten genera for extinction risk in the Western Indian Ocean (McClanahan et al. 2007). However, Alveopora species are considered to be relatively insusceptible to disease.
In general, the major threat to corals is global climate change, in particular, temperature extremes leading to bleaching and increased susceptibility to disease, increased severity of ENSO events and storms, and ocean acidification. In addition to global climate change, corals are also threatened by a number of localized threats. Localized threats to corals include fisheries, human development (industry, settlement, tourism, and transportation), changes in native species dynamics (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), invasive species (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), dynamite fishing, chemical fishing, pollution from agriculture and industry, domestic pollution, sedimentation, and human recreation and tourism activities. The severity of these combined threats to the global population of each individual species is not known.
All corals are listed on CITES Appendix II. Parts of this species distribution fall within several Marine Protected Areas within its range.
Recommended measures for conserving this species include research in taxonomy, population, abundance and trends, ecology and habitat status, threats and resilience to threats, restoration action; identification, establishment and management of new protected areas; expansion of protected areas; recovery management; and disease, pathogen and parasite management. Artificial propagation and techniques such as cryo-preservation of gametes may become important for conserving coral biodiversity.
Having timely access to national-level trade data for CITES analysis reports would be valuable for monitoring trends this species. The species is targeted by collectors for the aquarium trade and fisheries management is required for the species, e.g., Marine Protected Areas, quotas, size limits, etc. Consideration of the suitability of species for aquaria should also be included as part of fisheries management, and population surveys should be carried out to monitor the effects of harvesting.
|Citation:||Sheppard, A., Fenner, D., Edwards, A., Abrar, M. & Ochavillo, D. 2008. Alveopora gigas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T133501A3775923.Downloaded on 28 July 2017.|
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