Alternate Title

First Records for Spawning of Caribbean Acropora Species in Colombian MPAs

Document Type

Short Communication


Estimates of Colombian Caribbean coral percent cover in the Southern Caribbean are consistent with those throughout the Caribbean Sea, which has declined to about 10% of historical levels in the last few decades. Human activities like destructive fishing techniques in the marine parks have degraded the reefs over the last few decades. Colombia’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have thousands of square kilometers to map and patrol and few resources to devote to scientific and restoration efforts. Efforts to implement sexual reproduction techniques for restoration are starting to successfully propagate and settle corals on ceramic plates for reef deployment in the area but require more natural history information for large-scale implementation in restoration. Past observations of captive endangered coral Acropora cervicornis in the nursery of the Oceanario Islas del Rosario indicate spawning 6 days after the August full moon for the previous 3 years. Coral spawn collection from the wild reef was completed each night from 2 to 7 days after the full moon in August 2019, and resulted in the first observation of A. cervicornis spawning on natural reefs in Parque Nacional Natural Los Corales del Rosario y de San Bernardo, a 1,200 km2 underwater national park and MPA established in 1977. Additionally, coral spawn collection from the nursery reefs in August 2019 provide the first reported observations of spawning for endangered coral Acropora palmata in Colombia.

First Page


Last Page