Corals of the National Park of American Samoa is an illustrated list of corals (phylum Coelenterata, or Cnidaria) recorded from waters in and near the park., If illustrations are available, thumbnail pictures link to enlarged photos.
Or, you can browse pages of illustrations arranged by family. With some browsers holding your curser on the image will pop up the coral name. (There, clicking on any image jumps to the enlarged photo).
This site is a work in progress, regularly revised as coral reef scientists working at or visiting the park share their knowledge and expertise about corals at the park's superb reefs.
Visiting scientists frequently preview these images and species lists on-line to maximize their time at the park. Lists and photo identifications are continually appended and revised as researchers comment on the website content. Former park marine biologist, Eva DiDonato, initiated the site--with preliminary coral identifications by Charles Birkeland of the University of Hawaii. Several other park ecologists and visiting scientists continue to add new content and critique the material presented.
Safety Cautions. The channels, or awa, draining tide or surge buildup from the park's lagoons carry strong rip currents. Beware of these areas. Currently the park has no search and rescue capability. Nearest Coast Guard capability is in Hawaii.
1. Jellyfish, Soft Corals and Stony Corals - Zoanthidae, Alcyoniidae,
Actinodiscidae and Pocilliporidae.
This website was developed from the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring website -- now publically available for searches at https://irma.nps.gov/App/Species/Search. The data are from a report on corals of the National Park of American Samoa dated 26 September 2007.
The principal sources of information for the corals listed here are from:
Savor the marvelously diverse coral reef ecosystem shown here with a disturbing sense of impending doom. The 2009 Report to the Congress Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States foretells its demise by even mid-century from a lethal combination of increasing ocean acidity and warming caused by human induced increase in CO2. View excerpts related to coral reef ecosystems, or download the entire report to the Congress (13.09 mb pdf)
Learn more about the NPSpecies Inventorying and Monitoring Program.
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