Healthy reefs
Healthy reefs


Healthy reefs

The world’s largest coral reef system is made up of around 3000 individual reefs spread across more than 34 million hectares, and it is greatly under threat from various forms of environmental degradation.

Monitoring the health of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as the many thousands of other reefs world wide that are threatened by various forms of environmental degradation, is a gargantuan task, but Dr Elizabeth Madin may have found a solution.

She is using satellite and other aerial imagery to monitor interactions among groups of species on coral reefs. “These images can tell us about the effects that herbivore species are having on the landscape of the reef by looking at patterns called grazing halos,” she says.

Monitoring these halos requires high-resolution imagery, which isn’t widely available yet for many of the world’s remote reefs.

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