Saving the Mexican Elkhorn Coral
Caribbean coral reefs suffered substantial decrease in coral cover over the last decades. The elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), once dominant on shallow reef sites, where it provides structure and functions as wave breakers, is critically endangered today―according to IUCN's Red List for endangered species. SECORE and partners aim at assisting Mexican reefs (Project Mexico), and especially elkhorn coral populations, to recover. Together, we develop and apply methods for sexual coral restoration. Our project lead on-site is Dr. Anastazia Banaszak and her team at the Reef Systems Academic Unit, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. We work together with our local partners from Xcaret Eco Parc and CONANP, the national agency for nature reserves in Mexico. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is an international aquarium partner and SECORE's long-term ally for coral restoration.
Starring, in order for appearance: Anastazia Banaszak (UNAM), Maria Del Carmen Garcia Rivas (CONANP), Rodolfo Raigoza Figueras and Ana Isabel Ceron Flores (both Xcaret), Aaron Jeskie (Columbus Zoo and Aquarium) and Dirk Petersen (SECORE). All footage was taken by Lena Höfig and Vanessa Cara-Kerr (both ReefPatrol) during our spawning workshop in Mexico, this year.
A great thank you to all workshop organizer and participants, supporters and partners, and everybody who took part in this effort! Further thanks are due to Keldan Lights for lighting up coral spawning, Onderwaterhuis.NL for providing an extra camera and to SUBAL Underwater Camera for keeping it dry and safe!
Special thanks for this wonderful work to our team from 'The Reefpatrol'!
To continue our work in Mexico and other places we depend on grants and donations. Please help saving corals with your donation!