11 August 2009

Caribbean Ecology

Two stories concerning Caribbean ecology have aired on NPR recently. Sunday, there was a story about the Lionfish problem in the Bahamas. And today there was one about a Damselfish problem in Bonaire. Follow the links to listen to the story:

Damselfish are algae farmers. What they do is kill small patches of coral and wait for algae to grow in the dead spots. The NPR story talks about how they'll aggressively defend their plot of algae, chasing off fish that are many times their size. From my experience, they'll even attempt to chase off human snorkelers. The problem in Bonaire arose from overfishing of another species, the Graysby - a type of Grouper and primary predator of Damselfish. Now there's been an explosion in the Damselfish population and a consequential decline in coral.

As far as the Lionfish, it's the same issue as it is here except much more advanced. The population there is bigger and the damage they are causing is much greater.

No comments:

Post a Comment