The predatory crown-of-thorns starfish
, which eat coral, have also proliferated on the reef due to pollution and agricultural runoff.
According to scientists, there are mainly two reasons for the outbreak of the crown-of-thorns starfish
. One is a decrease in predators, such as the giant triton snail, and certain fish species, including humphead Maori wrasse, starry pufferfish and titan trigger fish.
The corals have also been hit by a crown-of-thorns starfish
are one of the most damaging creatures affecting tropical coral reefs as they are voracious predators that release the contents of their stomach on to the coral.
This allowed the team to see through the robot's cameras, verify every crown-of-thorns starfish
it identified, and approve injections of the pests before they happened.
And the picture in this El Nino year of 2016 is worrying: In the Maldives, both coral bleaching (where hot water stresses and eventually kills corals) and crown-of-thorns starfish
can be considered 'natural' events.
One of the main threats to the Great Barrier Reef is the crown-of-thorns starfish
, a parasite ballooning in numbers due to disruption of the delicate marine ecosystems.
The topics are pair formation in coral reef fishes: an ecological perspectives; the ecosystem roles of parrotfishes on tropical reefs; limits to understanding and managing outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish
(Acanthaster spp.); the ecology of ghost crabs; citizen scientists and marine research: volunteer participants, their contributions, and projection for the future; and the claw hypothesis: a new perspective on the role of biogenic sulfur in the regulation of global climate.
"Giant tritons only eat about one crown-of-thorns starfish
per week, so breeding enough of them to control big populations is not really feasible," said Dr.
The colourful coral faces a number of pressures including climate change, poor water quality from land-based runoff, the crown-of-thorns starfish
, which eat coral, and the impacts of coastal development and fishing.
The world's largest living organism has shrunk by about half over the past 30 years as a result of climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and crown-of-thorns starfish
, which prey on coral, the Independent reported.