Map_thumbnail_large_font

Millepora foveolata

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_onStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CNIDARIA HYDROZOA MILLEPORINA MILLEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Millepora foveolata
Species Authority: Crossland 1952

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A4cde ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Obura, D., Fenner, D., Hoeksema, B., Devantier, L. & Sheppard, C.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J. (Global Marine Species Assessment)
Justification:
This species is uncommon within its somewhat restricted range. However, it is found in shallow waters, is particularly susceptible to bleaching, can be collected for the curio and jewellery 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 39% over three generation lengths (30 years) is the best inference of population reduction and meets the threshold for Vulnerable under Criterion A4ce,d. It will be important to reassess this species in 10 years time because of predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species known from the Philippines, Taiwan, the Great Barrier Reef, and American Samoa. It has a patchy distribution.
Countries:
Native:
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Indonesia; Malaysia; Philippines; Samoa; Taiwan, Province of China
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is considered relatively common within its restricted range. It is uncommon to rare in American Samoa and rare in the Philippines, though it is hard to recognize in the Philippines and could possibly be more common there (Fenner pers. comm.).

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. 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: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in reef habitat to depths of approximately 20 m. Millepora species are generally found in inshore areas characterized by turbidity, and exhibit a tolerance for siltation. They often occur in clear offshore sites (Lovell pers. comm.).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This genus is generally not found in aquarium trade, but is sometimes collected for curio and jewellery trade. This genus is generally susceptible to bleaching. They are some of the first hard corals to bleach but are resilient, being some of the first to recruit after the bleaching. In Fiji, Millepora is not subject to crown of thorns starfish predation or disease (Lovell pers comm.).

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 disease, and a number of localized threats. The severity of these combined threats to the global population of each individual species is not known.

Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide and is 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 Great Barrier Reef 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.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: These non-scleractinian corals are listed under Appendix I and II of CITES. There are no records in the CITES database of exports of non-scleractinians by weight. 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: Obura, D., Fenner, D., Hoeksema, B., Devantier, L. & Sheppard, C. 2008. Millepora foveolata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 November 2014.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided