EDGE Community


Project information

[Project name/title]

A study of the role of Marine Protected Areas in the conservation of three EDGE Coral species



[Project description/overview]
This project will investigate the use of Marine Protected Areas for conserving three EDGE coral species in the Seychelles. It will investigate the presence/absence of the three species on carbonate and granitic reefs within Protected Areas. It will compare size distribution of EDGE corals within and outside of MPAs to establish whether MPAs are sufficient to protect these corals. Surveys will be carried out at two different depths to compare EDGE coral depth preference, to provide information to the government on the effectiveness of MPAs, for EDGE corals.


Location:
Republic of Seychelles (Curieuse MNP, Ste Anne MNP, Baie Ternay MNP, Praslin, Beau Vallon)

Project type:
Scientific research

Relevant EDGE species:
Parasimplastrea coral (Parasimplastrea sheppardi)
Elegance coral (Catalaphyllia jardinei)
Pearl Bubble Coral (Physogyra lichtensteini)

Project members:
Sylvanna Antat




Relevant species
12. Parasimplastrea coral (Parasimplastrea sheppardi) EN.

The sole member of its genus, Parasimplastrea sheppardi is highly threatened by human activities.

[Relevance description]
17. Elegance coral (Catalaphyllia jardinei) VU

This aptly named coral is truly enchanting, contrasting velvety, green corallites with bright pink tentacle tips.

[Relevance description]
31. Pearl Bubble Coral (Physogyra lichtensteini) VU

A gigantic yet attractive colonial coral which is popular in the aquarium trade.

[Relevance description]
Aims

To provide data that will contribute to coral reef monitoring activities in the Seychelles, as well as bring focus on EDGE species, to better understand their distribution within the Seychelles inner granitic islands, and improve their conservation. The aim is to build cooperation and capacity for future surveys and research to improve and support coral reef management decisions. The focus is on three EDGE species, so that conservation and management efforts will focus more on these species in the future and lead to protection of EDGE coral habitats, and that future MPAs take into account the presence of EDGE corals and their habitats.

 
Objectives
  1. To map the distribution of three EDGE coral species within the inner granitics, while improving research collaboration with local Dive Centres.
  2. To investigate whether MPAs conserve the three EDGE coral species and to bring focus to these EDGE species through increasing knowledge of their uniqueness, location and the threats that they face.
  3. To support existing coral reef monitoring within the Seychelles inner granitics and conduct research to provide baseline information for conservation of EDGE coral species.
  4. To make recommendations to the Government and Department of Environment in the Seychelles, to strengthen / develop conservation strategies that protect both EDGE corals and other marine organisms.
  5. To build capacity for coral reef monitoring, with the main focus on EDGE corals.
  6. To contribute to EDGE coral research and knowledge within the Western Indian Ocean.

 

 
Project members
Ms Sylvanna Antat : Project Coordinator / EDGE Fellow

A marine Research Officer working on the effectiveness of MPAs in protecting three EDGE coral species.

[Member role description]
Within this project:

Coordinating the project as an EDGE Fellow including providing training for capacity building and carrying out education and awareness activities.

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