Invasive Species 1
Coral reefs are undergoing a worldwide crisis and being lost at an alarming rate. Climate change, overfishing, and pollution are all taking their toll, but some corals face an additional problem: they are being eaten alive. In May 2013, a science team of the Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation investigated the waters surrounding Aitutaki. Acanthaster planci, or the Crown of Thorns Starfish, named for its helmet of venomous spines, had damaged between 80 and 99 percent of the island’s coral reef systems. For reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, only cyclones and bleaching events cause more destruction than the voracious Crown of Thorns.