Marine Habitat

Coral gardens for gallery

 The dominant reef life that has been studied during post 1997 expeditions include, benthic algae (Peter Vroom, Kim Paige, per. comm.) corals, anemones, and coral disease (John Schmerfeld, Jim Maragos, Bernardo Vargas, and Jean Kenyon, per. comm.), other reef invertebrates (Scott Godwin, Dwayne Minton, and Robin Newbold, per. comm.), and reef fishes (Mundy et al 2002., Ed DeMartini, Bruce Mundy, Brian Zgliczynski, Brian Green, Richard Wass, Alan Friedlander, Stephanie Holzwarth, and others, per. comm.). Summary data on coral, other invertebrates, algae, and fish surveys data for Jarvis are reported in Maragos et al.2008.

The giant clam (Tridacna maxima) is abundant Jarvis Island and is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Also found on Jarvis, the humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulates) is also listed under CITES and designated as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature(IUCN).

  • Corals


    Until 2000, the coral reefs at Jarvis were largely unexplored, though 90 species of mollusks had been collected and identified. A narrow fringing reef surrounds the island, but a broad submerged reef terrace extends off the eastern shoreline, dominated by moosehorn and rose corals. Live coral covers about 50 percent of the reef terrace, and about 62 species of corals have been reported at Jarvis as os 2006. Table and staghorn corals are rare but increasing. Heavy wave action limits coral growth on shallow slopes, but encrusting and plate corals are abundant. Live coral covers about 33 percent of the shallow slopes off the western and southern coasts, but less off of other coasts where wave action is heavy. Several submersible dives in 2005 revealed many deepwater corals and other abundant deep sea life at depths of 200-1,000 meters off the western side of Jarvis.

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