Coral Triangle Maps of the Month

The Coral Triangle Maps of the Month is a bi-weekly email running from August-December 2012 that showcases various maps that highlight the diversity and uniqueness of the Coral Triangle region. The maps also show some of the pressing issues that are threatening this very important resource considered the epicenter of the world's marine biodiversity. The maps are generated by the Coral Triangle Atlas team at The WorldFish Center.

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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.  


Do you need more maps on the Coral Triangle?  

Follow this link  to download a high-resolution version of this map from the CT Atlas website
To see more maps, view the CT Atlas Map Gallery online
To generate your own map, check out the CT Atlas interactive map  

Follow these links to see other maps in this series:
About the Coral Triangle Atlas

The Coral Triangle Atlas is an online Geographical Information System (GIS) database providing scientists, governments and NGOs with a view of spatial data at the regional scale. This project will improve the efficiency of conservation planning in the region by giving researchers and managers access to biophysical and socioeconomic information in spatially explicit while encouraging them to share their data to complete the gaps, therefore reducing duplicate data collection efforts and providing the most complete and most current data available.

By contributing data to the CT Atlas, NGO partners, governments and managers are helping to strengthen the effectiveness of conservation activities in the Coral Triangle through improved information flow and access to the region's best datasets.

The CT Atlas is supported by USAID's US CTI Support Program through the Coral Triangle Support Partnership. It also works to inform the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries ad Food Security - a multilateral partnership formed in 2007 by the six Coral Triangle countries to address the urgent threats facing the Coral Triangle.

For more information about the CT Atlas and to contribute data, contact: Annick Cros at or ReefBase at You can also participate in discussions or submit questions to the CT Atlas forum