Habitat Destruction

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In 1872, the United States did something remarkable. We set aside one of our greatest natural treasures, Yellowstone National Park , for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. The logic was simple: this place...
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Diving can be a wild ride that evokes more than a little trepidation,...
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...

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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 cutting off communities from...
Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right...
The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but...

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Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of...
When you are shopping for gifts and jewelry, steer clear of gifts that use real coral or other marine animal products. Deepwater pink and red corals in particular have been prized for their beauty in...
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...
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...
Sarah Gotheil, from IUCN Global Marine Programme , snapped this photo in the course of her research into fragile species and ecosystems. A new project led by IUCN will unveil the mysteries of...
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...
While the Ross Sea is perhaps the most pristine place left in the world’s ocean, the human footprint is fast changing this last place. Even as the effects of climate change are redefining the very...
Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day seagrasses. This sea invasion by land plants happened four separate times,...
It’s hard not to identify with penguins as they waddle about upright on land, clad in their tuxedo-like plumage. In their crowded breeding colonies, they squabble with and show off to their neighbors...
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...
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...
Algae has overtaken this coral reef off heavily populated Kiritimati, or Christmas Island. Few fish swim in the murky waters. The causes include pollution, overfishing, and increased water...
This colorful coral lives in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. On the whole, this coral reef is the largest single structure built by living organisms and can be seen from space! Although more than one...
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...
In California, the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary provides protection to Great White Sharks and other species. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark...
We all know that hurricanes can have destructive effects on human communities and infrastructure—but what about their effects on coastal wetlands? Until Hurricane Katrina, no one had ever mapped...
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...
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...
The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been nicknamed “ The Last Ocean .” And it’s not just a ploy to get your attention. In...
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