STAPLETON IT REEF
Intensive Surveys: Trends in cover of benthic organisms
This reef has only been surveyed four times since 1988. After an initial decline in reef-wide live coral cover between 1988 and 1995 coral cover remained low (5-10%). COTS populations detected during the initial years of survey are most likely responsible for the observed decline in coral cover. Surveys in 2001 indicate reef-wide live coral cover may be beginning to recover and is currently moderate (20-30%). One COTS was observed during surveys in 2001 but this is not expected to impact on reef-wide live coral cover. The reef is currently classified as No Outbreak. No bleaching was recorded during surveys of this reef in 2001.