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Field Surveys

Biodiversity Data

Coral reef sites are along the northeastern coast of Toco, Trinidad. Sites include Grande L'Anse, which is located next to the Fishing Depot, and Saline "Salybia" Bay. The reefs at Grande L'Anse are patchy at best, with species such as finger corals, fire corals, zoantharians, lesser starlet corals, and octocorals. Numerous rocky outcrops are located about 50 meters from the shoreline. Salybia Bay is the only fringing coral reef in Trinidad & Tobago. This reef extends approximately 200 m from the shoreline, which is accessible during "dry tides." Much of the annual surveys continue to be focused on both sites.



An indebt literature review and survey of the biological diversity of coral and associated reef organisms was conducted for the Saline "Salybia" and Grande L’Anse reefs along the north-eastern coast of Trinidad. A review of the literature, examination of museum collections, and coral reef field surveys were completed between 2005 through 2019. Surveys conducted used the line and point intercept and quadrat methods to gather data. If unidentified and incompletely identified specimens are not included. Molecular techniques are now being used for species identification. This research found 257 species belonging to 134 families, 23 classes, and 11 phyla. Most species belonged to Mollusca (75 species), Chordata (57), Cnidaria (43) and Arthropoda (33). Despite their proximity to each other, only 42 species were common to both reefs. Of the other species, most (178) were found at Salybia Bay reef, which is the only fringing coral reef in Trinidad & Tobago. Only members of Phylum Porifera showed a greater species richness at Grande L’Anse Reef than Salybia Reef, with five and two species, respectively. Published work continues to add more information about marine biodiversity for the most north-eastern part of Trinidad. Coral reef monitoring is essentially important in this area, as anthropogenic and climate change continue to affect global marine habitat. 

What has been done?

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