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Great Barrier Reef | One of the seven wonders of the natural world

Great Barrier Reef | One of the seven wonders of the natural world

The Great Barrier Reef‬ is the world’s largest coral reef system, located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. It is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms consisting of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays, and 900 tropical islands with some of the world’s most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.It is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres.

Stretching for over 2,300 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 sq.km, the reef is a World Heritage Site (1981). CNN categorized it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.

Great Barrier Reef‬

The magnificent natural beauty has made it to the list of the worlds’ most sought after tourist destinations. Tourists who love nature, adventure and ecology can enjoy many experiences including snorkeling, scuba diving, helicopter tours, whale watching and swimming with dolphins, glass-bottomed boat viewing, semi-submersibles and educational trips, cruise ship tours. The activities are spread far to exploring the amazing Whitsunday Islands, trekking the ancient Daintree Rainforest or relaxing on luxurious tropical islands such as Hayman and Lizard.

The north-east coast of Australia is home to diverse marine life. It includes many vulnerable species, some of which may be endemic to the system. 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises have been recorded including the dwarf minke whale, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, and the humpback whale. 49 species mass spawn, 84 species of other spawn, and 17 species of sea snake live in this reef. More than 1,500 fish species, including the clownfish, red bass, red-throat emperor, and several species of snapper, dugongs and coral trout, are inhabited here. Around 125 species of shark, stingray, skates or chimaera live on the reef. About 5,000 species of mollusc, 7 species of frog 49 species of pipefish and 9 species of seahorse have been recorded. 6 species of sea turtles: the green sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, hawksbill turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, flatback turtle, and the Olive Ridley, are living here.

Great Barrier Reef‬

215 species of birds (including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds) visit the reef. Similarly, 15 species of seagrass, 500 species of marine algae, 400 coral species and 2,195 known plant are recorded here. This diversity helps in creating mini-ecosystems on their surface.

The primary environmental threats affecting the health of this reef system are climate change, pollution, and over fishing. Shipping accidents, oil spills, pesticides, sediment run off and tropical cyclones are other causes for extensive damage to the reef system.

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About The Author

Parash Raj Gautam

Parash Raj Gautam is a writer in nihosi.com. He enjoys writing and spends time daily writing blog, programming and graphic designing. In his free time, reading, watching movies, listening music, hiking and travel are Mr. Gautam’s pastimes. In the year ahead Mr. Gautam looks forward to reading many books, and developing his own interest and skill at writing.

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