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1 Coral Reef Detective Introduction to Reef Check Surveys Reef IQ

2 Coral Reef Detective Overview In these activities you will become a coral reef detective to investigate the health of coral reefs! You will learn how to use codes and fill in your Coral Reef Detective Notepads to work out how healthy your reef is and whether there might be any dangers affecting it.

3 What do you need to do to become a coral reef detective? You will be undertaking some of the following activities: Impact Investigation Coral Reef Health Investigation Reef Check Investigation What materials will you need for your investigations? A coral reef! Coral Reef Detective Notepads Measuring tape

4 1234 Transect Replicates How to set up your coral reefs

5 How to carry out your investigations Each team should lay out their coral reef transects or get ready to survey the already prepared reef. You should carry out your investigations or surveys filling in the Coral Reef Detective Notepads as you go along. It is important to note down the substrate code of each coral reef photocard. If there is no code you must identify the substrate.

6 A Reef Check Volunteer Scientist hard at work! Your investigations are similar to what a Reef Check volunteer does underwater. Can you think about the differences between doing your investigations underwater and on land?

7 HC: Hard CoralSC: Soft Coral SD: SandSP: Sponge RC: RockSI: Silt OT: OtherNIA: Nutrient Indicator Algae RB: RubbleRKC: Recently Killed Coral HCB: Hard Coral Bleached Reef Check substrate codes

8 Identifying different substrate HC and SC Hard Coral can take many forms including boulder, branching, plate or cabbage like shapes. Soft Coral look more like underwater flowers and sway in the current.

9 Identifying different substrate NIA and SP NIA is a type of algae that can be green, red, orange or brown and is fleshy looking. Sponges come in many different sizes and colours but always have a hole to take in water and one to expel it.

10 Identifying different substrate RKC and HCB RKC is recently killed coral that is white and dead, but has not yet turned into rock or rubble. HCB is bleached coral that is not yet dead, but is white and still has tissue. These two (RKC and HCB) can be quite hard to tell apart.

11 Identifying different substrate OT, RB and SD OT includes any other creature or substrate you come across that is not covered by other codes. RB is when the coral is dead and has broken up into rubble. SD is sand!

12 Identifying different substrate RC and SI RC- once the coral has died it eventually turns into rock and is no longer white. SI – silt settles on the coral smothering it. Silt is finer than sand and floats if thrown into the air rather than falls to the ground as sand does.

13 What are you looking for in your investigations? You will be investigating your reef to see how healthy it is; this is usually measured by how much hard coral cover there is, and how much dead coral or algae there is, among other things. You will also be investigating to see if your reef is being impacted by any of the threats to coral reefs you have learned about.

14 Clues How much hard coral cover is there compared to sand and rubble? How much Nutrient Indicator Algae is there and what does this tell you? How much Recently Killed Coral is there and what does this tell you? Can you find any dangerous marine creatures in the photos? Is there much silt on your reef? What might this say? Look carefully at the coral, is it healthy or stressed?

15 Lets begin investigating…! Is this you in the future…?

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