Marine Habitat

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  • Coral

    Acropora Polystoma

    Extensive thickets and mounds of living staghorn coral dominate on the eastern reef terraces, though table and plate coral formations are also common. Staghorn, table, brain, rose, and plate corals are found on the reef slopes. Larger heads of lobe, disk, and brain corals - some up to 9 feet in diameter - are found along the deeper slopes. A total of 104 species of corals have now been reported at Baker through 2010. The island’s reefs probably suffered from the global coral bleaching event of 1997-98, and the corals have recovered rapidly. However, massive bleaching is underway at Baker Island as of February 2010.

     

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  • Algae

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     Sixteen species of algae have been collected at Baker, including four species of green algae (mostly Halimeda), two of brown algae (mostly Lobophora), and six of red algae (mostly crustose coralline). Threatened green sea turtles, both juvenile and adult, are abundant at Baker Island, especially on the southern or leeward side of the island. Algae coverage and relief is high in this area and is considered excellent habitat for turtles. Although the island has suitable nesting habitat, no turtles have been observed on land.