Coral Put On Endagered Species List

Somehow, you know that this is going to be spun as global warming, er, climate changes fault:

Two coral species in Florida and the Caribbean now have a spot on the federal threatened list because of dangers posed by human activity, hurricanes and higher water temperatures.

The elkhorn and staghorn coral species have suffered a 97 percent decline in areas off the Florida Keys and in the Caribbean since 1985 and must be protected, National Marine Fisheries Service biologist Stephania Bolden said Friday.

Now, don’t misunderstandimate me (:)), I think it is a good thing that they are put on the endagered species list for protection, a bad thing that they have to be put on the list at all. But, this is more from pollution then any sort of global warming, er, climate change. Coral has survived much warmer and much colder climates then the one we have now.

Several factors have harmed the coral in the past 20 years. Disease, temperature-induced bleaching, hurricanes, more nutrients in the water, damage from anchors or boat groundings and increased sediments and contaminants from land-based sources have hurt the coral species.

Coral bleaching is attributed to higher-than-normal water temperatures and causes the coral to lose color and its food source. Hurricanes have always been present, though Bolden points out that the most recent die-off also corresponds with a cycle of increased storm activity.

There it is, the slight, tenuous link to global warming, er, climate change. What we need to really do is limit the amount of pollutants we put in the waterways, as well as impact from over fishing, nets, anchors, etc, rather then worrying about the natural warming/cooling trends of the Earth.

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