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Coral Triangle

Updated on September 30, 2014

The Nursery of the Seas

The Coral Triangle is an area of the ocean between mainland Southeastern Asia and Australia which includes several small islands, from Papua New Guinea, to Timor-Leste. It covers an area roughly the size of about half of the U.S.

Our perfect sea habitat is home to quite a diversity of marine plants and animals. The Islands' coastal areas provide the perfect sanctuary for some of the world's most delicate and endangered coral fish, sea turtles, mantas, whale sharks and others who migrate, who consider this home base from their travels. Endangered turtles nest in these waters. Deep beds of sea grass provide acres of safety for tiny marine creatures. The over 500 species of coral here make up 75% of the species in the entire ocean, and over 3,000 different types of fish swim in these waters.

Photo: table coral: East Timor

Green Sea Turtle
Green Sea Turtle

From Food to Family

Saving and Caring for the Endangered Green Sea Turtle

Runduma, a small Indonesian Island community of around 500 people, is home to nesting areas for the Green Sea Turtle. The Islanders used to consider the turtle a delicacy, and their economy got a boost from the harvested turtles and their eggs. Even after the practice was outlawed, the animals were still killed.

Thanks to a joint project between the Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, and the islanders themselves, the practice has turned around. The small island community now care for the nests, and consider the turtles part of their living community. Runduma is just outside of Wakatobi National Park, which has been working for the past decade to protect the delicate ecosystem of the Golden Triangle, largely by educating the locals about the dangers of over-fishing and the benefits of conservation. This helped the Rundamans to understand the importance of saving the future of the Green Sea Turtles. Now many of the families participate in an "adopt a nest" program.

See more at The Nature Conservancy

I See Life

In the great ocean of the world.

Who will survive?

Is it I?

Humbled by the vast ocean

with whom I live,

I hope, strive...

for survival

Marine Research and Conservation in the Coral Triangle - The Wakatobi National Park

The Coral Triangle is thankfully home to several conservational areas dedicated to preserving healthy life in the ocean. The Wakatobi National Park is centrally located in the Coral Triangle and provides a perfect platform from which to study the diverse life in this region. This is the most comprehensive publication available on the habitats, sea life, and results on research performed there.

Marine Research and Conservation in the Coral Triangle: The Wakatobi National Park (Environmental Science, Engineering and Technology)
Marine Research and Conservation in the Coral Triangle: The Wakatobi National Park (Environmental Science, Engineering and Technology)

The Coral Triangle in south-east Asia contains over three quarters of the total number of known coral species and more than half of the world's coral reefs


Harlequin ghost pipefish

Harlequin ghost pipefish
Harlequin ghost pipefish

Saving the Coral Triangls

Promoting sustainable practices, preparing for climate change adaptation, and other initiatives

Help WWF Save the Coral Triangle!

Life Unaltered

The great genealogy of the sea.

Those who flourish are the elite.

These chosen few of the ocean

thrive here.

Unusual Life - found in the Coral Triangle

What the heck are these funky creatures?

Celebrating the Coral Reef

Let us appreciate

The Sea Apple - strange, ornamental creature

The Sea Apple - strange, ornamental creature
The Sea Apple - strange, ornamental creature
U.S. Coral Triangle Initiative
U.S. Coral Triangle Initiative

Coping with Climate Change

The Coral Triangle's Delicate Ecosystem

It is not enough to jump up and down and scream and yell that climate change is happening. In this part of the ocean, it is imperative to be prepared for it. The U.S. Coral Triangle Initiative is working with inhabitants of the islands to aid in sustainable living and protect the environment of the endangered species who share their space at the same time.

Coral reefs are especially susceptible to dangers of climate change. Increased acidity and rising sea levels are just a couple of examples of how life will be (and in some cases already is) affected due to rising temperatures in the ocean. The islands in the Coral Triangle are under the greatest threat from climate change.

The initiative is helping through education and training on protecting their most vulnerable areas, and teaching local government and citizens how to assess for these vulnerabilities. The involvement of the community is vital to the success of the Coral Triangle Initiative.

We can make a difference
How to Prevent Acidification:
Increase Energy Efficiency
Manage Fossil Fuel Emissions
Limit Nutrient Runoff
Scientific Monitoring
Scientific Research
Find More tips here:
Ocean Acidification: by Bill Dewey

All Kinds of Life Live in these Waters - In every size, shape, and color

Teeming with Life
Teeming with Life

Living among the coral in these special waters are thousands of species of fish and fauna. Some are found nowhere else in the world. There are cute and colorful cuttlefish, fast and scampy mantis shrimp, the strange looking Nudibranchs, Clown Fish (like Nemo in "finding Nemo"), and hundreds of other species, not to mention coral species beyond measure. The Coral Triangle harbors an incredible sanctuary of ocean life.

What do you think about the Coral Triangle? - Give us a shout!

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    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Great lens-going to that side of the world soon will investigate

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I live in Indonesia where the eastern part of my country is also a part of coral triangle. There're many good national marine parks in my country with unique species of fishes. Some of them are in endangered because of many factors including global warming. anyway you've written a nice lens. good job!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      This place is so beautiful. Sundae ;-)

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 6 years ago

      The Coral Triangle is a wonderful place. Blessed!