09-cot

Coral Predators: Population Monitoring and Management

 

The Coral Predators: Population Monitoring and Management Course is designed to give students an introduction to the impacts of over-populations or outbreaks of coral predators such as the Crown of Thorns starfish and Drupella Snails. The course teaches students about the causes and effects of imbalances in the reef ecosystem, and gives them the knowledge and skills to monitor and assess coral predator populations. In addition to learning about ways to address the root of the problem, students will also learn how to safely and effectively manage populations of coral predators to increase reef resilience, decrease mortality following bleaching events, and be proactive in managing coral reef areas for future sustainability .

 

Prerequisites

  • Be certified as an advanced diver under a leading diving organization (PADI, SSI, RAID, etc.)
  • Demonstrate proper diving ability at an Advanced Level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness.
  • Have completed the Conservation Divers Ecological Monitoring Program

 

Standards

  • Understand the role coral predators play in the ecosystem
  • Understand current theory on population dynamics of coral predators in stressed reef ecosystems
  • Learn about the root causes of coral predator population outbreaks
  • Understand the life-history and reproductive strategies of organisms such as Drupella Snails and Crown of Thorns Starfish
  • Learn how to safely and effectively manage populations of coral predators
  • Practice assessing coral predator abundance and managing populations

 

Requirements

  • Attend the lecture on coral predators
  • Perform a coral predator population survey
  • Perform a predator management and removal dive

 

Expected course time about 6 hours