What is the Great Barrier Reef?« Back to Questions List


The Great Barrier Reef, considered as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is the largest coral reef system.  Coral reefs are underwater communities of living organisms. Coral reefs are held together by calcium carbonate secreted by corals and contain billions of tiny organisms. Many susceptible or endangered species are found in coral reefs. The Great Barrier Reef covers an areas of around 345000 square kilometers and  consists of around 3,000 coral reefs and 900 islands. It is a World Heritage Area. 

Great Barrier Reef, coral reef, coral bleaching, endangered species, coral, Coral Sea, Green Sea Turtle, humpback whales, Dugong, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park,

The Great Barrier Reef located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland is the pride of Australia. It is inhabited by the Aboriginal Australian. The reef is divided into 70 bioregions. The natural attractiveness of the area, both below and above the water’s surface, attracts tourists from various parts of the world.  Tourism is the major revenue generating activity in the region.

The reef is a highly secured area to protect the collection of brilliant vivid coral, dolphins, species of tropical fish and dolphins.  An underwater expedition presents an ever memorable experience. The reef is a breeding area for humpback whales, and habitat of many endangered species like the Dugong (Sea Cow) and large Green Sea Turtle, among others.
  
To reduce negative impact of fishing and tourism, a major part of the reef is secured by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Climate change, global warming and coral bleaching pose great threats to the reef. When the water temperature increases, the algae living within the coral tissue are expelled. Due to this coral loses it exciting appearance and this is termed coral bleaching. It is estimated that around two third of the reef has been irreparably lost in recent period due to coral bleaching.

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