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Great Barrier Reef
Site number:
Type of site: Natural
Date of Inscription: 1981
Location: Australia, off the east coast of the Queensland mainland
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Description: On the north-east coast of Australia, lies the Great Barrier Reef whose distinctive diversity and allurement is second to none. It comprises of 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 types of mollusc and 400 types of coral; The Great Barrier Reef has the largest collection of coral reefs. The site holds special importance to the scientific world as the Great Barrier Reef is home to many highly endangered species like the dugon ('sea cow') and the large green turtle. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for 2,600 kilometres (1,616 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometers (132,974 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life, and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN has labelled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust has named it a state icon of Queensland.. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as overfishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures to the reef and its ecosystem include water quality from runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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