Location and history
The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland in the northeast of Australia and is over 344,400 kilometres in size making it is so large it is viewable from space.
The Great Barrier Reef was originally explored by aborigines thousands of years before captain cook arrived in Australia. In the Great Barrier Reef there are cave pictures of early Torres Strait islanders using canoes to trade with mainland aborigines. The Reef was extremely important to aborigines and Torres Strait islander because they used it to fish for food for thousand of years.
Flora and fauna
The Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of animals ranging from molluscs to whales and dolphins. There are 1625 species of fish and more than 3000 species of molluscs there are also 630 species of echinoderm. As well as that there is 14 species of sea snakes, 315 species of birds, 6 species of marine turtles out of the seven in the world, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 133 species of rays and sharks and a large population of dugongs but with increased fishing is starting to increase threats to many of the already threatened species.
Aswell as all the amazing sea life the Great Barrier Reef has a large quantity of amazing coral and sea grass. There are 15 different types of sea grasses in the Reef there are also over 600 different types of coral.
Unfortunately all of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef is being killed by coral bleaching. Coral bleaching is caused by global warming heating our oceans. We can help stop global warming by limiting mining and burning of fossil fuels. Coral is also endangered by us, we are slowly killing the wildlife and coral in the Great Barrier Reef by littering and acting carelessly with our food and wrappers.
Climate and the effects of tourism
The Great Barrier Reef has a tropical climate with a temperature of 24 to 33 degrees Celsius during the summer and 14 to 26 during winter.
Tourism in the Great Barrier Reef has its benefits and its downsides. Some of the upsides of the Great Barrier Reefs tourism is that the money they make from tourists can be used to help the Reefs 25 year plan aswell as the fact that the tourists are becoming more aware of its problems such as the coral bleaching. While tourism could help the Great Barrier Reef it is also responsible for killing it to. The tourists that go to the Great Barrier Reef and fish, dive, boat and even just walk around could be damaging it. The Great Barrier Reef is being damaged daily by accidents from boat anchors, fishing, litter and rubbish as well as the people diving accidentally breaking coral.
Dangers of the Reef
Aswell as coral bleaching and tourism being a danger to the Reef poor water quality can be damaging it just as much. Poor water quality is rising seawater temperatures and increasing seawater acidity. The Great Barrier Reef gets run off water from 35 catchments drainging 424,000 kilometers of water of coastal Queensland.