Habitat Destruction

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Diving can be a wild ride that evokes more than a little trepidation, especially in the Pacific Ocean's famously big, cold waves. Waves that are otherwise fun for my weekend surfing can turn a...
What is coral bleaching? These white corals in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower...
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William...
The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but...

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Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right. Increased water temperatures caused the bleached coral to lose the microscopic algae that give the coral color and provide it with food. Corals can...
The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but...
Blast fishing, when dynamite or other explosives are used to stun or kill...

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Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of...
The Gulf oil spill is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Within days of the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11...
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study ,...
This mangrove island in the Pelican Cays, Belize, was clear-cut and filled with dredged sand and coral from the adjacent reef flat. Developers are clearing and dredging mangroves in an attempt to...
The ocean is not as natural as it once was. Where there used to be large predators that we took for sea monsters, now there are tiny fish and jellyfish. But there are a few untouched places left in...
Red coral necklaces fill a store display window. The United States annually imports around one million live coral animals from tropical reefs for use in aquariums, and is the largest documented...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
Human activity is increasing in the Arctic marine environment due to climate change. To help the most vulnerable areas, the Global Marine Program of IUCN , along with partners, convened a series of...
This coral reef in the Western Pacific Ocean was killed by human input of silt and sand from nearby islands reaching the coral reef habitat. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral...
Orange roughy ( Hoplostethus atlanticus ) is a deep ocean fish that grows and matures at a sluggish rate compared to most shallow water fish. They don't reproduce until they are at least 20 years old...
A lemon shark pup swims through a shallow mangrove forest off the coast of Bimini Island in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years...
Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of dollars in products and services to humans each year. But they are also...
Traditional fishing techniques now involve monofilament nets, with snorkelers diving down to ensure the bigger fish don't get away. Many people still fish traditionally along the eastern coast of...
Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet that are home to beautiful wildlife and provide food to many people living on the coast. So how do you protect the reefs without...
Phoenix’s mother, Stumpy (#1004), was killed in a collision with a ship near Virginia in February 2004. She was pregnant with her sixth known calf. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can...
The Brazilian Atlantic Islands site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2001. The rich waters of the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Rocas Atoll are extremely important for the breeding...
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the water and onto the beaches of the remote ecosystem. Richard Carson...
In the past 30 years, the Great Barrier Reef -- Australia's iconic natural wonder -- has lost half of its coral to a combination of forces. Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science at the...
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