One of the most important Underwater Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is a 2000 km long coral reef system which is the largest in the world. It can even be seen from outer space. It is located off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea in the northeast Australia.
This coral reef is the world’s biggest single structure which is made by living organisms called coral polyps. Most part of the coral reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which helps in protecting the corals so that they are not destroyed or disrupted by human exposure.
A great diversity of life is supported by the Great Barrier Reef which includes many endangered and vulnerable species. These include whales, turtles, crocodiles, molluscs, clams, sea horses, cone snails, etc. also around 215 species of birds are attracted to the reef or nest or roost on the islands. The islands of the Great Barrier Reefs support 2195 known species of plants.
There are many threats that are faced by the Great Barrier Reef like the climate change, oceanic pollution, declining quality of water, predators like crown-of-thorns starfish which feeds on corals, etc. All these factors can devastate the corals and have to be protected from by conscious efforts.