Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park
|Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park|
|Location||Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico|
|Nearest city||San Miguel de Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico|
|Area||120 km2 (46 sq mi)|
|Established||July 19, 1996|
|Governing body||Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources|
|Official name||Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel|
|Designated||2 February 2005|
The Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park is off the coast of the island of Cozumel in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The Cozumel reef system is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest coral reef system in the world. Even though almost the entire island of Cozumel is surrounded by coral reefs, the park only encompasses the reefs on the south side of the island. It begins just south of the International Pier and continues down and around Punta Sur and up just a small portion of the east side of the island. The park contains both shallow and mesophotic coral reefs and extends to the 100 m depth isobar.
Cozumel is home to the Cozumel splendid toadfish (Sanopus splendidus) which is listed as vulnerable by IUCN and is entirely endemic to the reefs surrounding the island. The park also has several species that are under some degree of protection, including sea turtles (green turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, and the hawksbill sea turtle), the queen conch, and black coral.
Cozumel's deeper coral reefs were historically famed for their black corals, yet black coral populations declined within the park from the 1960s to the mid-1990s because of overharvesting and by 2016 had not recovered.
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