This webpage is an alphabetical list of the scientific names of corals (phylum Coelenterata, or Cnidaria) recorded from waters in and near the park. Each coral name is linked (click on the scientific name) to its individual Family. Within the Family or on various lists, if a coral is illustrated click on the thumbnail image to link to the large photograph page.
To use the site--click on "Scientific Names" to access the list of corals. Click on "Browse Pictures" to view galleries of photos. Samoan and English common names of corals are few and conflicting. These lists are unfinished.
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 page was developed from the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring website--an intranet site as yet not generally available to the public. The data are from a report on corals of the National Park of American Samoa dated 26 September 2007. The NPS Inventorying and Monitoring site is a work in progress at this time. It is expected to be on line to the public in a couple more years.
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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