|Map 10: Threatened Fish Species in the Coral Triangle |
The Coral Triangle contains the highest diversity of coral reef fishes in the world with 37% (2228) of the world's coral reef fish species (6000) call the region home, as do 56% of the coral reef fish species in the Indo-Pacific region (4050). By comparison, only 7% (420) of the world's coral reef fish species occur in the Hawaiian Islands.
Biodiversity in the Bird's Head Peninsula, Indonesia
The highest concentration of reef fish species extends from southeastern Indonesia to the central Philippines. Roughly 8% (235 species) of the coral reef fish species in the Coral Triangle are endemic or locally restricted species.
Coral Triangle countries have some of the highest numbers of endemic reef fish species in the world, particularly Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Within the Coral Triangle, four areas have particularly high levels of endemism: the Lesser Sunda Islands straddling Indonesia and Timor-Leste, the Bird's Head Peninsula in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and the Verde Island Passage in the Philippines. However, because the number of species in the Coral Triangle is very high, the percentage of endemic species is lower than in some other parts of the world such as the Red Sea, Hawaiian Islands and Mascarene Islands.
Fish species threatened is one of the World Development Indicators to describe biodiversity for sustainable environmental resources. The threatened species are the number of species classified by the IUCN as endangered, vulnerable, rare, indeterminate, out of danger, or insufficiently known, which is an important measure of the immediate need for conservation in an area. Data on fish species threatened are based on Froese and Pauly's FishBase database.
The map shows that Indonesia is the leading country in the number of threatened fish species in Coral Triangle region although it has overall the highest fish species diversity (Allen, G.R. 2000). It has been a deep concern that a broad range of fish species in Coral Triangle area could be under threat of extinction and the marine biodiversity is experiencing potentially irreversible loss due to several threats such as over-fishing, habitat destruction and climate change. The growing demand for live reef food fish and the widening geographical scope of the trade also create major sustainability concerns. This raises the urgent need for more effective management approaches to protect marine ecosystems in Coral Triangle region.
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