Why protect coral reefs?
We are committed to coral conservation, from propagating endangered species in-house to assisting the U.S. Navy in relocating 1,500 coral colonies in the Florida Keys threatened by a construction project. (The boulder star corals and several other species in the Seahorses and Pipefishes exhibit were too small for the move and found a home at the aquarium.) Here’s why reefs are worth saving.
Diving by moonlight to help endangered corals
For more than 10 years, Shedd has been part of an international effort to boost the reproductive success of endangered Caribbean corals. During the annual mass spawning event, which closely coincides with the August full moon, divers collect the corals’ eggs and sperm, gently swirl them together to fertilize the eggs and provide the resulting larvae with a protected environment to grow in.
“Tiny coral polyps grow into coral heads which can grow into reefs that can be seen from space. Pretty impressive animals.”Mark Schick, director, fishes exhibit development
Boulder star coral
Finger leather coral
Kenya tree coral
Soft finger coral
Massive starlet coral
Toadstool leather coral