Tubastraea floreana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Cnidaria Anthozoa Scleractinia Dendrophylliidae

Scientific Name: Tubastraea floreana
Species Authority: Wells, 1982
Common Name(s):
English Floreana Coral

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2a ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Hickman, C., Chiriboga, A., Edgar, G., Guzmán, H. & Banks, S.
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team)
Prior to 1984, recorded from Playa Prieta (Floreana), Caleta Iguana and Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela), Santiago, Gardner Island (Española) and Pinzón (Glynn and Wellington 1983, Cairns 1991). Since the 1982-83 El Niño, the only sightings are a few colonies observed at Cousins Rocks (Santiago; P. Humann pers. comm. to P. Glynn) and Isla Gardner (Floreana; A. Chiriboga pers. comm.). The species is presumed to have been widespread and not uncommon prior to 1983 because it was recorded at six sites during a time of very little underwater survey activity. Colonies subsequently disappeared from all six known sites at the time of the 1982-83 El Niño, and despite intensive searches the species is recently only known from two sites, hence the species is now extremely rare. At one of the two sites where it was observed in the past decade, the species has not been seen since 2001, leaving only a single confirmed site. Thus, decline since 1982 is estimated to exceed 80% (generation length is >10 years). The threat of El Niño has not ceased.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Tubastraea floreana is a rare endemic species to the Galápagos Archipelago, only known from a small number of sites: Playa Prieta, Floreana; Caleta Iguana, Isabela; Gardner Islet, near Floreana; Pinzón Island; Buccaneer Cove, Santiago, and Cousins, near Santiago (Wells 1983, Cairns 1991, Hickman 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Ecuador (Galápagos)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Before 1983 T. floreana was known from Caleta Iguana, Isabela; Buccaneer Cove, Santiago; Cousins near Santiago; Pinzón, Playa Prieta, Floreana, and Gardner Islet near Floreana (Wells 1983, Cairns 1991). However, after the 1982-83 ENSO (El Niño) event, T. floreana was not reported from any site until the early 1990s; when P. Humann observed and photographed three colonies at Cousins, near Santiago (P. Humann pers. comm. to C.P. Hickman). According to P. Humann (pers. comm. to C.P. Hickman), he observed these colonies yearly until 2001, but has not seen them since. Despite targeted searches throughout the Archipelago, the only colonies found during the past decade were located at Gardner Islet, near Floreana in 2004 (A. Chiriboga pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:T. floreana occurs in cryptic habitats; on ceilings of caves, ledges and rocks overhangs (Wells 1983, Hickman 2005). T. floreana has been reported to occur at depths of 2 to 46 m depth (Wells 1983, Cairns 1991, Hickman 2005, A. Chiriboga pers. comm., P. Humann pers. comm. to C.P. Hickman).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Despite a lack of information on the thermal tolerances of T. floreana, the dramatic reduction in its distribution immediately after the 1982-83 El Niño event suggests that this mortality resulted from the event. Presumably climate change is an additional threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Inside one protected area in the ETP region: Galápagos Marine Reserve (IUCN category VI); Galápagos Archipelago Particularly Sensitive Area (PSSA); Galápagos Island World Heritage Site (UNESCO N (i)(ii)(iii)(iv), and Galápagos Island Man and Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO). Included with corals in CITES Appendix II.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.3. Temperature extremes
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.8. Other

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.5. Other impacts
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

0. Root -> 100.1. OLD 1.1.1-Policy-base actions->Management plans->Development
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Cairns, S.D. 1991. A revision of the ahermatypic Scleractinia of the Galápagos and Cocos Islands. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 504: 32.

Glynn, P.W. and Wellington, G.M. 1983. Corals and Coral Reefs of the Galápagos Islands. University of California Press, Berkeley. 297 pp.

Hickman, C. 2005. A Field Guide to Corals of Galápagos. Sugar Spring Press, Lexington, VA. 52 pp.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

Reyes-Bonilla, H. 2002. Checklist of valid names and synonyms of the stony corals (Anthozoa: Scleractinia) from eastern Pacific. Journal of Natural History 36: 1-13.

Wells, J.W. 1983. Annotated List of the Scleractinian Corals of the Galápagos Islands. In: P.W. Glynn and G.M. Wellington (eds) Corals and Coral Reefs of the Galapagos Islands, pp. 212-295. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Citation: Hickman, C., Chiriboga, A., Edgar, G., Guzmán, H. & Banks, S. 2007. Tubastraea floreana. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T63580A12683651. . Downloaded on 30 April 2017.
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