Home to over 900 islands and 2900 reefs that spread across 2300 km, the Great barrier Reef belongs to the Australian continent. (DON’T MISS More stories on Nature and Wildlife) Not only was the Great Barrier Reef added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981, but it has also been declared as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A significant amount of the Great Barrier Reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
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According to a recent study, the Great barrier Reef has lost more than 50 per cent of its corals due to climate change and global warming. And yet, tourism around the reefs help boost Australia’s tourism sector by generating close to 5 bn AUSD on an annual basis with 2 mn visitors flooding . It is also one of the extremely few natural attractions that Google has a street view for, this one being underwater!
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This 20 millions year old natural wonder is home to thirty species of dolphins and whales, six species of sea turtles that come to the reef to breed, over 215 species of birds that visit and nest near the reef, seventeen sea snake species and close to 1500 colorful species of fish. Over 10 per cent of the world’s fish species can be found here.
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And despite being home to so many living organisms, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living being on our planet. One of the biggest threats to these coral reefs is the growth of the crown-of-thorn starfish that has a tendency of killing all corals on a reef. However, our only hope is those few reefs that have the ability to regrow despite getting stripped of all corals.
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