There has been an increase in the number of corals in the reefs of north Queensland in spite of the recent bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, a survey reveals.
Twelve reefs off the coast of Townsville between Cape Bowling Green and Northern Hinchinbrook were examined by scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), and they found that 11 have recovered since they were damaged by Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
Scientists also discovered that the coral cover on seven of the reefs is at the highest level since they were first examined three decades ago.
Dr. Britta Schaffelke, the spokesperson for AIMS, said that although there were still signs of coral bleaching when they conducted the survey, it was not as severe as that in other parts of the World Heritage Area.
“The most bleaching is actually north of Port Douglas and those reefs will experience probably quite high mortality,” she said, according to ABC News.
Schaffelke added that the surveys have not found any signs of the crown-of-thorns starfish eating some of the corals in the reefs. Furthermore, some of the coral reefs will be able to go on with the recovery process as long as the reefs are not disturbed in any way.
Just recently, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University revealed that about 35 percent of the mass corals in the northern and central part of the Great Barrier Reef were killed due to bleaching.
Coral bleaching is normally caused by the disappearance of the zooxanthellae, a group of photosynthetic algae, due to increased ocean temperatures, which turns the corals white.
The Australian government has even faced criticism all over the globe after it removed the ailing Great Barrier Reef from the United Nations reports, accusing it of not making any conscious effort to save one of the world’s natural wonders.