Fact Sheet
Coral Reef

What Defenders is Doing To Help

Defenders is working in many different areas to help make coral reefs healthier and to protect these habitats for future generations.

Learning More to Do More

Scientists at Defenders are actively working to advance our understanding of coral reef ecology, the diversity of wildlife living on coral reefs, and the steps needed to protect these valuable ecosystems. Despite their importance, coral reefs are one of the most complex and poorly-understood ecosystems in the world. Understanding the specific causes of the problems facing reefs is an absolutely essential step in protecting these important wildlife habitats.

Helping Those Who Care for Reefs 

Once we know what is affecting a coral reef, the next step is to find solutions. Protecting reefs is a challenge because they face such a wide range of problems, and because many reefs are located in developing countries that don’t always have enough resources to protect them. At Defenders, we’re developing innovative new management approaches and policy strategies to help both developed and developing nations better protect coral reef ecosystems.

Working with the Wildlife Trade

Although overharvesting and destructive fishing practices are significant problems, there are many individuals, governments and businesses leading the way to find solutions. Defenders is eager to work with those who support wildlife conservation to help them find, support and implement new methods of collecting marine wildlife in a sustainable way and without damage to the ecosystem. We also share research indicating which species should not be harvested, and point industry leaders to more sustainable alternatives. 

Endangered Species Act Protection

For almost 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has helped prevent the extinction and promote the recovery of our nation’s wildlife treasures.  When corals and other coral reef wildlife declines so much that it faces a threat to its continued survival, protection under the Endangered Species Act can help prevent that extinction and turn around declines.  Our experts work to make this law more effective and efficient at saving coral wildlife and many other species.  

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