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Coral Reef Creatures

 Île Sainte Marie, Madagascar

Like much of Madagascar, the coral reefs of Ile Sainte Marie contains vast ecological mysteries. Though little work has been done to identify the specific biodiversity of Sainte Marie, one survey of Madagascar’s northeastern coast identified 281 species of reef building coral, 463 species of reef fish, and concluded that the area hosted the largest population of evolutionarily distinct genera in the Indian Ocean.

However, the answers to many of these enduring ecological questions may soon be lost, as gradually warmer waters and a rapidly expanding human population put undue pressure on this underwater world, and by extension, on the communities who rely on them most. Here, Sylvia Earle’s famous words may ring particularly true: “Our fate and the Ocean’s are one.”

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