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Pavona duerdeni

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CNIDARIA ANTHOZOA SCLERACTINIA AGARICIIDAE

Scientific Name: Pavona duerdeni
Species Authority: Vaughan 1907

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2008-01-03
Assessor(s): Hoeksema, B.W., Rogers, A. & Quibilan, M.C.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J.
Justification:
The most important known threat for this species is extensive reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats. Specific population trends are unknown but population reduction can be inferred from estimated habitat loss (Wilkinson 2004). It is widespread and uncommon throughout its range and therefore is likely to be more resilient to habitat loss and reef degradation because of an assumed large effective population size that is highly connected and/or stable with enhanced genetic variability. Therefore, the estimated habitat loss of 20% from reefs already destroyed within its range is the best inference of population reduction since it may survive in coral reefs already at the critical stage of degradation (Wilkinson 2004). This inference of population reduction over three generation lengths (30 years) does not meet the threshold of a threat category and this species is Least Concern. However, because of predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification it will be important to reassess this species in 10 years or sooner, particularly if the species is also observed to disappear from reefs currently at the critical stage of reef degradation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: In the Indo-West Pacific, this species is found in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the southwest and central Indian Ocean, the Arabian/Iranian Gulf, central Indo-Pacific, tropical Australia, southern Japan and the South China Sea, the oceanic West Pacific, the central Pacific, the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll, and the far eastern Pacific.

In the Eastern Tropical Pacific region is present on: México: Punta Chileno and Cabo Pulmo at Baja California Sur; Islas Marietas, Nayarit; and Revillagigedo Islands, Colima (Reyes-Bonilla pers. comm., Reyes-Bonilla 2003, Reyes-Bonilla et al. 2005, CONABIO 2006); Panamá: Coiba Archipelago, Gulf of Chiriquí; recorded as Pavona cf. duerdeni (Guzmán et al. 2004), and Las Perlas Archipelago, Gulf of Panama (Guzman et al. in prep.); Ecuador: Punta Estrada*, Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos Archipelago (Chiriboga pers. comm.).

(* Taxonomic determination not confirmed; identified from underwater photographs.).
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Bahrain; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Colombia; Comoros; Cook Islands; Costa Rica; Djibouti; Ecuador; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Kuwait; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Qatar; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United Arab Emirates; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is uncommon, but conspicuous. It is rare in the Red Sea.

Within the Eastern Tropical Pacific region the distribution and abundance of Pavona duerdeni is almost unknown (Guzmán pers. comm.) due to taxonomical uncertainty. However, according to Guzmán et al. (2004), P. duerdeni is considered rare at Coiba Archipelago, found in less than 25% of sites, as well as in Las Perlas Archipelago, found in less than 3% of sites, and in the Gulf of Chiriqui occurring at 23 sites (Guzman et al., in prep.). In México, Reyes-Bonilla (2003), considered P. duerdeni as rare (found in less than 20% of the reef) at the Gulf of California and nearby areas, as well as at the Revillagigedo Islands.

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 more resilient to some of the threats faced by corals and therefore population decline is estimated using the percentage of destroyed reefs only (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 of 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. Follow the link below for further details on population decline and generation length estimates.
For further information about this species, see Corals_SupportingDoc.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in most reef environments and forms large colonies on horizontal shallow substrata. It forms big boulders over 1 m. This species is found from 3-15 m.

In Panama and Galápagos occurs on broken reef and rock habitats in shallow depths (<15 m) (Guzmán and Chiriboga pers. comm.). According to Guzmán (pers. comm.), P. duerdemi forms very large colonies in the Gulf of Chiriqui and Gulf of Panama, Panamá.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events are the most important source of natural disturbance controlling coral communities (Glynn 1990). Pavona species have a high sensitivity to extreme elevated temperatures that interfere with reproduction and recruitment (Glynn et al. 2000). El Niño disturbance could have perilous consequences for small populations of eastern Pacific reef corals (Glynn 1988).

Bryant et al. (1998), based on four anthropogenic factors (coastal development; overexploitation and destructive fishing practice; inland pollution and erosion, and marine pollution), estimated a high threat to coral reefs in the coast of Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. High levels of siltation caused by accelerated coastal erosion have degraded coral reefs in Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador (Glynn 2001).

Other threats (Glynn et al. 2000): small colony size; slow skeletal growth; susceptibility to Acanthaster planci predation, and infrequent asexual fragmentation.

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.

Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide and a major cause of reef deterioration (Weil et al. 2006). The numbers of diseases and coral species affected, as well as the distribution of diseases have all increased dramatically within the last decade (Porter et al. 2001, Green and Bruckner 2000, Sutherland et al. 2004, Weil 2004). Coral disease epizootics have resulted in significant losses of coral cover and were implicated in the dramatic decline of acroporids in the Florida Keys (Aronson and Precht 2001, Porter et al. 2001, Patterson et al. 2002). In the Indo-Pacific, disease is also on the rise with disease outbreaks recently reported from the Great Barrier Reef (Willis et al. 2004), Marshall Islands (Jacobson 2006) and the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (Aeby 2006). Increased coral disease levels on the GBR were correlated with increased ocean temperatures (Willis et al. 2007) supporting the prediction that disease levels will be increasing with higher sea surface temperatures. Escalating anthropogenic stressors combined with the threats associated with global climate change of increases in coral disease, frequency and duration of coral bleaching and ocean acidification place coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific at high risk of collapse.

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.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: All corals are listed on CITES Appendix II. Parts of the species’ range fall within Marine Protected Areas. Present in multiple protected areas in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region:
México: Archipielago de Revillagigedo Biosphere Reserve (IUCN category Ia, VI).
Panamá: Coiba National Park (IUCN category II); Coiba Special Zone of Marine Protection (IUCN category II), and Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection, World Heritage Site (UNESCO N (ii)(iii), C (iv)).
Ecuador: Galápagos Marine Reserve (IUCN category VI); Galapagos Archipelago Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA); Galapagos Island World Heritage Site (UNESCO N (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)), and Galapagos Island Man and Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO).

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., MPAs, 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. Recommended conservation measures include population surveys to monitor the effects of collecting for the aquarium trade, especially in Indonesia.

Citation: Hoeksema, B.W., Rogers, A. & Quibilan, M.C. 2014. Pavona duerdeni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 November 2014.
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