Red Sea

About the Area

The Red Sea is the warmest and most saline of the world's seas. No permanent coastal rivers or streams flow into the Red Sea, and it is partially isolated from the open ocean. Together, these features contribute to a unique flora and fauna.
The diverse and spectacular coral reefs for which the Red Sea is renowned are found only in the central and northern portions, where the reefs are well developed and drop steeply into deep water.

Local Species
Marine turtles include Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), Leatherback turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys oliacea), and Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).

Birds include Saunder's tern (Sterna saundersi), white-cheeked tern (S. repressa), great black-headed gull (Larus icthyaetus), pink-backed pelican (Pelicanaus rufescens), brown booby (Sula leucogaster), white-eyed gull (Larus leucophtalmus), and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus).

Other species include Dugong (Dugong dugon), Blainsville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon desirostris), white-tip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus), butterflyfishes (Chaetodon spp.), giant clams (Tridacna spp.), and several species of dolphins (Family, Delphinidae). Seventeen per cent of fish are endemic with more than 90 percent endemic dottybacks (Family, Pseudochromidae), and triplefins (Family, Tripterygiidae).

Threats
Overfishing, spear fishing, souvenir collecting, scuba diving, and the use of the coast for recreational activities represent major disturbances to these coral reefs.

Oil spills, sewage discharge, chemical pollution, industrial and urban development, extensive coastal development, land filling, and coastal engineering pose further threats to the ecoregion.

Resources

Size:
N/A

Habitat type:
Tropical Coral

Geographic Location:
Northeast Africa and Middle East

Conservation Status:
Vulnerable

Quiz Time!

How old is the Red Sea?

Answer:
The Red Sea was created 55 million years ago when Africa started to move away from Arabia. This movement is still going on, at about 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) per year.

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