Seriatopora corals, also commonly known as thin birdsnest corals, are a colorful type of coral widely distributed from the African edge of the Indian Ocean all the way to the central Pacific zone. The seriotopora family of corals is a very common sight among these reefs and forms a major element of the coral population in the area. These corals are most prevalent among intertidal reef flats and tend to thrive most efficiently in that environment. Because of their beauty, they are often targeted for the aquarium trade and this activity harms balance of the local ecosystem.
These types of reef corals typically mature within the first 3 to 8 years of life. It is common for them to live for up to 10 years, although specific information on the longevity of these corals is not yet known. A single generation in the lives of these corals is generally agreed upon as being 10 years long, although certain individuals have been shown to live much longer, and others for much shorter times. Corals such as these enjoy a wide and thriving population, but are subject to many threats.
There are three major threats endangering the population of Seriatopora corals in the world: human harvesting for the aquarium trade, climate change and coral disease. Human intervention is forming an increasingly large factor in the reduction of coral population worldwide, with Indonesia leading the way in coral harvesting and export. Climate change threatens to increase the acidity of tropical waters, which will produce an environment in which these corals cannot survive if left unchecked. The corals are currently undergoing study with the objective of finding means to protect their environment from destruction.
According to the international standard of wildlife preservation, these corals qualify as “Least Concern” creatures because the current reduction in their population, compared with the amount of extant, healthy corals, has not yet hit a critical stage. This is something that could change, however, and is likely to change all at once – that is, if the corals do submit to the threats surrounding them, they will not do so gradually. Seriatopora corals are widely recommended for reassessment by the scientific community in less than 10 years to determine if a danger to the reef environment has yet been realized within their population.