Belize Barrier Reef System

In: Science

Submitted By marybeth4
Words 1728
Pages 7
UNESCO Paper- Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
Mary E. Willis
June 24, 2011
SCI/230
Gregory Becoat

UNESCO Paper- Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

Charles Darwin was quoted in 1842 describing the Belize Barrier Reef as "the most remarkable reef in the West Indies" (Encyclopedia). This description still holds true today. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which includes the Belize submarine shelf and its barrier reef is the world's second largest barrier reef system and the largest reef complex in the Atlantic-Caribbean area (Programme-wo, 2009). What makes a reef like the Belize Barrier Reef system so special is that coral reefs are the most diverse of all wetlands and are home to more species than any other marine ecosystem (Wells). Also the reef system offers more varieties of coral formation than anywhere else in the Caribbean (Encyclopedia). For people to appreciate and understand the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve system, they need to know about the many species that call this place home, the threats against the preservation of the reef, and what is being done to protect and preserve the reef. Once this happens my hope is more people will become involved in the safeguarding of this wonderful place. The Belize Barrier Reef system is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. The Belize Barrier Reef system is home to 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, more than 500 species of fish, and hundreds of invertebrate species. The hundreds of invertebrate species include 350 mollusks, plus a vast diversity of sponges, marine worms, and crustaceans (Programme-wo, 2009). Beyond the waters of the reef system, the atolls and cayes with stands of littoral forest and mangroves provide a important habitat for certain birds. A few of the species of birds found here are the brown booby, brown pelican, the magnificent frigate bird, laughing gull,…...

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