Conservation International recently published a press release about a number of marine species their research has uncovered that could be new to science. For two weeks their researchers conducted a marine survey in the waters off Bali, Indonesia including cooperation with local partners. During their dives, the potentially new species they saw were two types of cardinalfish, two varieties of dottybacks, a garden eel, a sand perch, a fang blenny, a new species of goby and an unknown Euphyllia bubble coral. Now it is left to scientific analysis to determine if they are new species officially.
The Indonesian survey was part of Conservation International’s twenty-year marine assessment program, and was requested by the Bali government to help evaluate the health of their reef ecosystems. In all, there were nearly 1,000 species of fish and 397 species of coral documented by the survey, including similar work done by the local government.
More good news was relayed by a senior advisor to Conservation International’s Indonesian marine program, “There was a tremendous variety of habitats, surprisingly high levels of diversity and the coral reefs appeared to be in an active stage of recovery from bleaching, destructive fishing and crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks in the 1990′s.” (Source: Conservation.org)
Some bad news resulted from the 350 hours of diving also. Only three reef sharks and three wrasses (both species are predators) were seen, and when there are abnormally low numbers of predators, something is usually very out of balance in the ecosystem.
A number of the marine species images are included here, and you can see more on the Conservation International website.
The United Nations produced a video explaining some of the conservation issues facing Bali’s reefs and fishing community.
Image Credit: All images, Conservation International