Coral spawning is when coral simultaneously release their eggs out into the ocean for purposes of reproduction. Sometimes fertilised and sometimes not, both male spermatozoa and female ova are released during the masse event. The coral increase their chance of reproductive success by spawning at the same time as their counterparts.
New research has shown that dugong calves have made a comeback on the reef.
The population was virtually wiped out after Cyclone Yasi in 2011, which damaged seagrass grown, their main source of food. However, recent aerial surveys have shown that they have made a comeback and are now doing well on the reef.
Coral gardening is on the horizon in the Whitsundays. The initiative has been put forward as a solution to help inshore reefs recover that have been damaged by cyclones that have disrupted the Whitsundays. Inshore reefs often bear the brunt of waves and unpredictable tides that accompany such weather patterns.
A herbivore is a animal that feeds only on plants. They are not predatory nor do they hunt other animals, but instead survive of nutrients provided by plants only. And they are helping the reef big time.
â€‹The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living ecosystem in the world. It has been around for many millennia and is continually growing and changing. It is a network that spans across 2,600km and is made up of corals, sea grass, islands, and cays that make up the entirety of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
As the cold weather rolls into Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays, so too do the whales! Every year during the winter season, thousands of humpback whales migrate to the Whitsundays to nurse their babies and enjoy the warm waters of the coral sea. It brings a time of joy to locals and tourists alike, who get to see these amazing animals up close and in their natural environment.
In the wake of the category 4 Cyclone Debbie, it is hard to see the bright side of such a huge weather phenomenon. However, in terms of coral bleaching, there may be a silver lining to the the storm that hit the Whitsundays on 28 March 2017.