Great Barrier Reef
Date of Inscription: 1981
Property (km2): 348,700
Marine Area (km2): 344,400 (% Marine: 99)
S18 17 10 E147 41 60
Great Barrier Reef is no doubt the world’s most extensive stretch of coral reef and is probably the richest area in terms of faunal diversity in the world. Its great diversity reflects the maturity of an ecosystem which has evolved over millions of years on the northeast continental shelf of Australia. There are over 1500 species of fish, about 400 species of coral, 4000 species of mollusc, and 242 species of birds, plus a great diversity of sponges, anemones, marine worms, crustaceans, and many others. The reef comprises some 2500 individual reefs of all sizes and shapes, providing the most spectacular marine scenery on earth. The site includes major feeding grounds for the endangered dugong and nesting grounds of world significance for two endangered species of marine turtle, the green and the loggerhead, as well as habitat for four other species of marine turtle; given the severe pressures being placed on these species elsewhere, the Great Barrier Reef may be their last secure stronghold. More information.