Human activity, hurricanes and higher water temperatures have catapulted two coral species in Florida and the Caribbean on the federal threatened list. In areas off the Florida Keys and in the Caribbean since 1985, the elkhorn and staghorn coral species have suffered a 97 percent decline and need immediate protection. National Marine Fisheries Service biologist Stephania Bolden revealed the state and declared the necessary steps to be taken to secure it.
These species are among the first coral to earn a threatened distinction. Overseeing the fisheries service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made the announcement Thursday in Washington. Scientists and environmentalists acclaimed this move with applause.