The Great Barrier Reef
- The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-east coast of Australia.
- It contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc.
- It also holds great scientific interest as the habitat of species such as the dugong (‘sea cow’) and the large green turtle, which are threatened with extinction.
- Practically the entire ecosystem was inscribed as World Heritage in 1981, covering an area of 348,000 square kilometres and extending across a contiguous latitudinal range of 14° (10°S to 24°S).
- The GBR, extending 2,000 kilometres along Queensland's coast.
- The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.
- Climate change, pollution, crown-of-thorns starfish and fishing are the primary threats to the health of this reef system. Other threats include shipping accidents, oil spills, and tropical cyclones.