Ningaloo Coast, Western Australia

Welcome to the wild west. Ningaloo Reef is Australia's largest fringing coral reef. Tropical and cold waters meet here on Ningaloo Reef to create an amazing diversity of marine species nestled against an arid coastline. Thousands of marine species call these reefs home. Even whale sharks can’t resist Ningaloo’s remarkable reef systems, visiting here every year to feed in the plankton-rich waters after coral spawning. 

In 1987, the Ningaloo Marine Park and Muiron Islands Marine Management Areas were established to form a framework for a multi-use park that provides a wide range of activities. In 2011, The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area was declared to recognise the outstanding natural beauty and biological diversity of both the marine and terrestrial systems in the region. Ningaloo Reef is home to 300 documented coral species, more than 700 reef fish species, approximately 650 mollusc species and more than 1,000 species of marine algae. 

The Ningaloo Coast’s remote and extensive reef systems also mean that monitoring and protecting this ecosystem is a huge undertaking. Citizen science has been identified as an approach to complement government and research monitoring activities to increase the data that can contribute understanding and protecting Ningaloo Reef. 



Regional Updates

Reef Check at Australian Coral Reef Society Conference

May 20, 2018
  Our Ningaloo Project Officer volunteer, Gemma Francis, had the chance to present a poster on the evolution of the regional program at the Australian Coral Reef Society conference held in Exmouth in May 2018.  The poster gave a recap of our work in the region since 2013 and outlined proposed next steps. After 2 years of working with the amazing team at Cape Conservation Group, we have collectively decided that to provide sufficient support for volunteers and partners, a part-time paid coordinator role is critical to support a sustainable reef citizen science monitoring and outreach program for the Ningaloo Coast. At this stage we have currently submitted two grants and hoping to ready to share new plans later this year! The conference presented the perfect chance to connect and discuss plans with the local Exmouth and broader marine science community. Gemma said "It was an incredible event to attend and represent Reef Check. It was inspiring to be part of this scientific community and and great to see ongoing support for this growing project." The conference explored the effects of climate change, in particularly rising sea temperatures, and the monitoring, management strategies for existing coral ecosystems around Australia, with a focus on the Ningaloo region. 
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