Skip to content

Mountainous Star Coral

Orbicella faveolata


Subject to a recent name change (previously known as Montastrea faveolata), Orbicella faveolata was distinguished from Orbicella annularis in 1994.

Commonly known Mountainous star coral, colonies of this species are large and can vary considerably in appearance. Along wave swept habitats colonies will appear flattened, whereas in less exposed regions the same species may well form dome or stump shaped colonies. Once a highly abundant species, Orbicella faveolata has declined rapidly in the last few decades and is now absent in many of the shallow reef habitats it once dominated. With a long generation period and slow growth rate, it will take time for numbers of this species to recover once its threats are removed.


Huang D, Benzoni F, Fukami H, Knowlton N, Smith ND, Budd AF (2014) Taxonomic classification of the reef coral families Merulinidae, Montastraeidae, and Diploastraeidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 171: 277–355

  • Order: Scleractinia
  • Family: Faviidae
  • Population: Unknown
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Colony Size: Unknown
  • Depth Range (m): 1 - 40

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 4.35 (?)
ED Score: 5.67 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species occurs in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the Bahamas. May also be present in Bermuda.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is most abundant in backreef and forereef environments between depths of 10 and 20 metres. The large structures produced by this species are of high ecological importance as they enhance the structural diversity, as well as integrity of reef systems.

Find out more

Conservation Actions

For each key category of conservation action, we calculated a conservation attention score based on expert information. In this graph, a higher score means the action is being carried out more intensively over more of the species range. The colour shows how important each action is considered to be for the conservation of this species.

Engaging stakeholders
Addressing threats
Status of knowledge
Management plan
Capacity building
Behaviour change
Awareness raising
  Score: 100 means the activity occurs at high level across more than 75% of the species range
Very Low

Overall Conservation Attention

We combined all of the expert information on conservation actions to calculate an overall conservation attention score for this species. Please help us to reach our goal of establishing dedicated conservation attention at “High” levels for all EDGE species.

Very Low Low Medium High

More information

Recent studies have grouped all possible conservation activities for any species into nine key categories (Washington et. al 2015). For each action, we asked experts for each species to assess the extent to which that action is being carried out and how much of the species’ range that action occurs in. For each action we used these two pieces of information to calculate the conservation attention score per action. A score of 100 means that the action is being carried out to a high level across at least 75% of the species range. We then combined the scores for all actions into an overall conservation attention score for the species. The experts also judged how important each category was to the conservation of that particular species.

Download the survival blueprint for this species below either in English or Spanish. Each survival blueprint is compiled by an EDGE Fellow working on the species with input from collaborators and stakeholders. The Survival Blueprint provides a status review (information on the distribution, protection status, habitat & ecology, threat and stakeholder analysis) and more information on the action programme listed here.

Vision (30-50 years)

Persistence of Orbicella populations and coral reefs in Morrocoy National Park and Cuare Wildlife Refuge, Venezuela

Goal (5-10 years)

Improve local management and awareness of coral reefs and Orbicella populations in Morrocoy National Park and Cuare Wildlife Refuge, Venezuela


Promote an updated Management plan for MNP, based on novel scientific knowledge, to include special zoning for key reefs where Orbicella annularis colonies still occur High
Improve local knowledge about the importance of Orbicella species and coral reefs for their wellbeing and livelihoods Critical
Design and implement a monitoring program of Orbicella species to update information on the status of this subpopulation to inform management and conservation strategies Critical
Design and implement a program to monitor spatial and temporal changes in land-based pollution and thermal stress to coral reefs Critical

Ana Yranzo Duque

  • Project name: Orbicella status after two decades of the massive death, Morrocoy, Venezuela
  • Project site: Morrocoy National Park, Venezuela
  • Active: 2018 - 2020
Find out more

Robin Ramdeen

  • Project name: Condition of Orbicella faveolata and perceptions of local stakeholders towards coral conservation in Montserrat
  • Project site: Montserrat
  • Active: 2015 - 2017
Find out more