|Scientific Name:||Montipora foliosa|
|Species Authority:||(Pallas, 1766)|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Near Threatened ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||DeVantier, L., Hodgson, G., Huang, D., Johan, O., Licuanan, A., Obura, D.O., Sheppard, C., Syahrir, M. & Turak, E.|
|Reviewer(s):||Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J.|
The most important known threat for this species is extensive reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats, however, this species is also moderately susceptible to bleaching, crown-of-thorns starfish predation, harvesting for aquarium trade. Specific population trends are unknown but population reduction can be inferred from estimated habitat loss (Wilkinson 2004). It is widespread and common 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. However, since this population reduction estimate is close to a threatened threshold, and because this species is moderately susceptible to a number of threats, it is likely to be one of the species lost on some reefs currently at the critical stage of degradation and is heavily harvested for the aquarium trade and therefore is Near Threatened. Predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification make it important to reassess this species in 10 years or sooner, particularly if the species is actually observed to disappear from reefs currently at the critical stage of reef degradation.
|Range Description:||In the Indo-West Pacific, this species is found in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the southwest and northwest Indian Ocean, the Arabian/Iranian Gulf, the northern Indian Ocean, the central Indo-Pacific, Australia, South-east Asia, Japan and the East China Sea, the oceanic West Pacific, and the Central Pacific. Palau and Marianas (Randall 1995).|
Native:American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Bahrain; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Djibouti; 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; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Norfolk Island; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Qatar; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; 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:||
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
This species is common.
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 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.
|Habitat and Ecology:||This species occurs in shallow, tropical reef environments. It is mostly found on protected upper reef slopes. This species is found to at least 20 m.|
The bleaching of coral reefs, which has become increasingly frequent since the 1970s, is related to the ongoing rise in ocean in temperatures as a result of global climate change. Bleaching events, leading to coral mortality, are predicted to become more frequent and severe. Species in the genus Montipora are susceptible to bleaching. However, this species is widespread, and occurs across a range of depths, providing a possible degree of resilience to threats relating to global warming. Species in the genus tend to be quite fast growing and reproduce asexually by fragmentation, so if they can re-establish after mortality, they can recover fast.
Acanthaster planci, the crown-of-thorns starfish, has been observed preferentially preying upon members of this genus (Colgan 1987).Crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) (Acanthaster planci) are found throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Red Sea. These starfish are voracious predators of reef-building corals, with a preference for branching and tabular corals such as Acropora species. Populations of the crown-of-thorns starfish have greatly increased since the 1970s and have been known to wipe out large areas of coral reef habitat. Increased breakouts of COTS has become a major threat to some species, and have contributed to the overall decline and reef destruction in the Indo-Pacific region. The effects of such an outbreak include the reduction of abundance and surface cover of living coral, reduction of species diversity and composition, and overall reduction in habitat area.
The total number of corals (live and raw) exported for this species in 2005 was 7,298. Indonesia is the largest exporter with an annual quota of 2550 live pieces in 2005. In 2006 the Indonesia export quota for all Montipora species was 19,200 pieces.
Other more localized threats include disturbance by coral removal and harvesting, 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, storms, and human recreation and tourism activities.
All corals are listed on CITES Appendix II. Parts of the species’ range fall within Marine Protected Areas.
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:||DeVantier, L., Hodgson, G., Huang, D., Johan, O., Licuanan, A., Obura, D.O., Sheppard, C., Syahrir, M. & Turak, E. 2014. Montipora foliosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 05 August 2015.|
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