Talk:Great Barrier Reef

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Great Barrier Reef:
  • Find more information about Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander use, management, and association with the GBR. - probably very difficult.
    • Add more stuff on human history on the GBR in general.
  • More stuff on the ecosystem and ecology. [1] (nb. out of date.)
    • Put more information on the different corals and sea-life. See [2]
  • Look into the scientific literature on the GBR. Coral Reefs, Marine Biology [3]
  • Put more information on the actual geography (different areas etc.).
  • Mention research into biological compounds found on the reef eg. sunscreen. [4] - research organisations that study the GBR.
  • The link for Reference 21 ("How the Great Barrier Reef was formed") is broken. I think it needs updating to: [5]


Britannica highlight[edit]

An article entitled Great Barrier Reef appeared at as a Britannica highlight on 30 May 2005. See [6]. Courtland 17:03, 2005 May 30 (UTC)

Passed GA[edit]

Congratulations to editors of this article its now attain GA status. Please continue to expand the two stub sections Gnangarra 11:39, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Conflicting numbers on size of GBR...[edit]

Fodor's reference [7] puts the number of reefs at 3,000 and islands at 900, which has been in the article for some time. However, the CRC Reef Research Centre [8] puts the numbers at 2,900 reefs and 618 islands. I'm inclined to think the latter are better numbers than a travel guide. Also, the marine park authority states that the GBR is up to 18 million years old [9], while the CRC Reef Centre says 500,000 years old. [10] What do people suggest we use? --MattWright (talk) 00:26, 9 August 2006 (UTC)As the relaxi as can be just relaxi ont he beach .witching the fish as you dive under water .

I think the source of the size confusion is between the Reef itself and the larger Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. I'd want to try and double-check the CRC figures with another academic source, if possible - most literature on the GBR seems to be on its health, not its size or its age/geological composition. As for the age confusion, due to fluctuating sea levels, the Reef has grown at different times - it could just be that the Marine Park Authority drilled down further. Can you locate any academic sources on either of these matters, at all? I'm willing to try and help, but I'm not very knowledgeable on what journals to go to. While I'm here, can I just please make a request to keep the article to Australian English? Thanks :) - Malkinann 00:52, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry about the English changes, it's just natural for me when writing to use US English, but I am fine with it being corrected. I actually don't always know how to write in Australian English, so hopefully you will understand. I certainly didn't change any of that on purpose. One change you made, however, was adding Torres Strait Islanders under Human use of the Great Barrier Reef. They are already included under the term Indigenous Australians according to that page, so I don't know why we are singling that group out? --MattWright (talk) 01:40, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

No worries.  :) I must have gotten confused between "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander", as used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and "Indigenous Australian" (also used by the ABS), which does seem to cover both. Whoops. - Malkinann 03:47, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Here's a comparitive map of the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. -Malkinann 22:19, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Do you know what the usage restrictions on this are? Is it a public domain document like a map produced by the U.S. federal government would be? --MattWright (talk) 22:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm guessing not - in general, the Australian Government keeps its copyright. I can't find a Terms of Use on ReefED (which is run by the GBRMPA), but on the main GBRMPA site it says "The information contained within this website is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 all other rights are reserved." -Malkinann 22:29, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, sounds like we can't use it. Bummer. --MattWright (talk) 23:33, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
We can use it as a source for the size confusion, though. (the key gives areas for the GBRWHA and GBRMP). If anyone wants further infos, they can go to the source.-Malkinann 23:46, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The size confusion is between the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which is 345 500 km squared, and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, which is 348 000 km squared, with 2900 reefs. However, this doesn't include the reefs found in the Torres Strait, which is estimated at an area of 37 000 km squared and with a possible 750 reefs and shoals. (Hopley et al., 2007, pp.1) Now I'm just unsure how to work that in to the article. -Malkinann 21:47, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Global Warming[edit]

Is Global Warming causing the depletion of The Great Barrier Reef? A question often up in the air. I have come to find there are various other factors contradicting this idea.

Coral bleaching is generally linked to global warming, however there are many other reasons other than just increased/decreased water temperature that could cause coral bleaching such as water acidification, silt runoffs and herbicides, low tides/reef exposure, and although many of these issues may be linked to humans, they are not necessarily linked to global warming (Ridd, Peter V. (11/2007). A CRITIQUE OF A METHOD TO DETERMINE LONG-TERM DECLINE OF CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS. Energy & environment (Essex, England) (0958-305X), 18 (6), 783. DOI: 10.1260/095830507782088578 [11]).

Various guilds are linked to destruction of Great Barrier Reefs as well. These guilds can consist of various sea lives living on and around the reefs, one in particular, the crown-of-thorns starfish. This starfish in particular eats away at the coral polyps (the organisms the reef is composed of) and has come to be one of the reefs greatest predators in which case the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has been created to help preserve the reef and downsize the amount of destructive guilds. These guilds have absolutely nothing to do with human impact, therefore nothing to do with Global Warming; these reefs are still being destroyed without the influence of humans Crown-of-thorns_starfish.Bnixo006 (talk) 03:40, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Human use[edit]

I keep on finding that the 'human use' section is retitled to 'Indigenous Australians'. Please don't do this - if you can find more information on Indigenous Australian use and association with the GBR, please feel free to expand it into a sub-section of 'human use'. As it is, 'human use' covers both Indigenous Australian use (poorly, I'll admit) and European and current usages of the Reef. - Malkinann 11:07, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Royal Commissions - Help![edit]

I'm going to need some help finding out anything more about the Royal Commissions on oil and the GBR. As they were from 1970-1975, there's not much on the web, and it looks like it'd be in the National Archives... Are there any things that have analysis of Royal Commissions? The thought of going to the National Archives is a bit scary... It seems like after the commissions, the governments got their skates on and turned the GBR into a park. But there's nothing really available on the GBRMPA site, or anywhere else in detail, for that matter. It just seems to be that 'There was one', and that's it. Thanks. :) - Malkinann 02:48, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, thus far, this you-beaut book by Hopley et al. about the geomorphology of the GBR doesn't mention hydrocarbons, natural gas, gas, or oil at all... "Don't mention the war", anyone? -Malkinann 22:00, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
A little birdie has whispered in my ear that chapter 2 of "AIMS - The first twenty-five years" may cover the 1960s and 1970s, Royal Commissions, and the formation of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the GBRMPA. This same little birdie has also recommended the Bowen book, "The Great Barrier Reef : history, science, heritage". Unfortunately, I can't get a hold of them at the present, but I can but hope! -Malkinann (talk) 12:41, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Reef vs reef[edit]

I agree, there is no need for the word "reef" to be capitalized unless used in the title of Great Barrier Reef G8summit 20:09, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Why are many mentions of the word "reef" capitalized? Surely this must be a mistake.--Tug201 13:39, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Automated Peer Review[edit]

The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions for further ideas. Thanks, Malkinann (talk) 22:47, 11 January 2010 (UTC)


All right now this is getting annoying! Can you guys just grow up and STOP destroying a good article on a good part of Australia. Go find something else to do, instead of vandalising wikipedia!!! Cocopopz2005 04:41, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Great Barrier Reef[edit]

I was reading the article about the Great Barrier Reef and found that someone added a swear word(f.u.)to the article. I'm just 11 years old and I would like to do my school reports without having to worry about immature people editing the content of the articles in such a way. I hope you will do something about it, Sincerely, Concered User

Replied at this user's Talk Page. - Malkinann 08:44, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with this! I'm 12 years old and while doing a report for Great Barrier Reef, I found many words that weren't appropriate. Please stop doing this!


I'm just putting the gallery pictures and information here for now - the clownfish and the giant clam photo can probably be used if we expand the Species section. All of these pictures are on the wikicommons anyway, so they won't evaporate if we don't use them right this minute. - Malkinann 08:44, 3 December 2006 (UTC)


I thought I heard on a documentary that the GBR has the highest concentration of species per square kilometre, or the highest number of different species per square kilometre (or something) of any place in the world. If it can be verified, I think it'd go well in the introduction.

It would, but you'd think the tourist brochures would be all over a figure like that. -Malkinann 11:54, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I think there is greater diversity in Indonesia's reefs. Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:08, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Split off "Environmental threats" section?[edit]

I'm proposing this split because I think the article is getting too long (37KBish) and the Environmental threats section is the longest. This would give room in the main GBR article for more stuff on the geology/geography and ecology/ecosystems/species stuff, which has a wider appeal. Thoughts? -Malkinann 11:54, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't necessarily think it is too long at this point, but it might make sense to split that section into its own article "Threats to the Great Barrier Reef". The existing text would just need to be synthesized into a few coherent paragraphs that remain in the main article. --MattWright (talk) 17:35, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Why just 'Threats to the Great Barrier Reef'? is this this 'future proofing' that I see thrown about every so often?-Malkinann 09:16, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Environmental threats is fine, I didn't purposefully leave off that word. --MattWright (talk) 14:54, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that this article should be split. This would allow for further expanding of the section without worrying about changing the context of the article in general. That way anyone just wanting info on the barrier reef can find it, while people wanting to know specifics about threats to it can find that in a separate article linked to this one in a brief section. G8summit 20:12, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I've done it, but I need help summarising what's in the main article. -Malkinann 22:04, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

NOT an organism[edit]

Here is what I have heard on the Discovery channel and seen all over the internet--The Great Barrier Reef is an organism (and the world's largest).--This is NOT CORRECT! The reef chain itself is not a organism, but a collection of rock and dead coral over millions of years. The Great Barrier Reef is rather an environment that has the biggest "population density" of life per any unit of measurement. All of the life that covers the whole reef chain is entirely separate from the reef chain itself. Another thing: the reason why I said reef chain frequently is because the Great Barrier Reef is not a single reef, but a chain of thousands of reefs situated off of Australia's coast. Therefore, two things make the "fact" that the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest organism contrary to true fact. JustN5:12 02:31, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your enthusiasm on the Great Barrier Reef, but I feel I should remind you that Talk pages are for talking about the article itself, not the subject of the article. It's sometimes a difficult distinction to make. We don't say on the article that the GBR is a single organism. We say that sometimes it's called the world's largest organism, but we then go on to explain that really it's not the world's largest organism. We talk about the geological formation of the GBR in the Geology and geography section. If you can cite the source that the GBR has the largest population density of life, that would be very much appreciated. We have some information on the life that exists in the environment of the GBR, but not lots - this is because I'm having trouble in incorporating it. If you'd like to help with that, it would be very much appreciated. We do say in the lead that the GBR is a reef system of about 3000 separate reefs.-Malkinann 07:23, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
The GBR does not have the largest population density by far. In fact some scientists compare tropical waters to deserts as far as life. Usually life is measured in Primary_production which is the grams of carbon produced per cubic metre. Since there is no plankton in this water (billions of organisms per cubic metre of water), we can safely say the reef is far behind. I think the largest population density is actually located off South America in upwelling regions (as far as oceanic life). Erick880 (talk) 06:17, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Map request[edit]

map request —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Asphere (talkcontribs).

What kind of map are you after? Image:Map_of_Great_Barrier_Reef_Demis.png is a free-use one we could use - we can't use any maps made by the Australian Government for copyright reasons. -Malkinann 09:56, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

That map is way more informative than the image we had in lead before. Nice find. --MattWright (talk) 16:08, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

That map is good. It should have some labels and a scale though. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Asphere (talkcontribs).

No information describing the reef[edit]

The article talks a lot about the coral origins of the reef, its biological and ecologic significance, but nothing about what it is. What would I see if I came up to the Great Barrier Reef? How big are these reef islands? Is there animal or plant life on the above-ocean reef? Are there human structures on any of them? What is the range of width dimensions of the Great Barrier Reef? Is it passable by boats? There is not even a picture of the reef except from at least a few kilometers away, and it's an actual built-up island. -Rolypolyman 02:57, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand your questions... the article says "The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world's largest coral reef system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands..." What else would be useful to know about what the GBR system is?
If you were to come to the GBR, you would see something that looked sort of like this. We decided not to use this picture as the lead picture as the map is of the whole GBR, and we liked the satellite image.
Coral cay island sizes vary, and their sizes aren't really something I've come across in my reading. (perhaps investigate the Category:Islands on the Great Barrier Reef, or the Australian govt's website?). There isn't really such a thing as an above-ocean reef - reefs can't grow above sea level, although I suppose at low tide they could be exposed for a short time - not long enough to have non-oceanic wildlife. Birds nest on a lot of the coral cay islands, turtles nest on some others, and I believe there is some plant life. here is some information about some wildlife in the GBR system that isn't fully in the wikipedia article. Some coral cay islands have monitoring stations or are basically left alone, and some others have been made into coastal resorts. "What is the range of width dimensions of the Great Barrier Reef?" - are you asking how wide the GBR system is? Judging by this map, (which we can't use on Wikipedia, as it's copyright to the Australian Government), I'd say it's about 300 or so kms wide at its widest point? The GBR is widely used by ships, although it is quite a dangerous route - Captain Cook famously discovered it when he ran aground on Endeavour Reef. More information about shipping in the GBR is available at Environmental_threats_to_the_Great_Barrier_Reef#Shipping. Free images that we could use of the GBR are available here, if you think there's any better feel free to swap them. If this hasn't answered your questions, I'd suggest going to the GBRMPA website to have a look around - maybe you'll find something and be able to include it in the article.  :) -Malkinann 00:21, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Ecology section copyedit[edit]

Oldest single coral on the reef[edit]

This has been commented out in the main article for some time now, I thought I'd put it here to save on space there. Any current references would be appreciated. -Malkinann (talk) 22:33, 27 November 2007 (UTC) "The oldest dated coral on the reef now is a species of Porites known as boulder coral, which is only about 1,000 years old (it grows about 1 centimetre or 3/8 inch per year)." Note--this used to be in the Reef Facts for Tour Guides reference until they updated it in 2006. It should not appear in this wiki article until it can be confirmed from a scientific publication.

Stretching over 2,600 km?[edit]

I find the figure of 2,600 km grossly exaggerated. The distance between Parama Island, which is north of the northernmost extreme of the GBR, and Fraser Island, which is south of the southernmost reaches of the GBR, is 2,018 km (measured by Wikimapia Geotools) as the crow flies.--Ratzer (talk) 16:45, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Even if I follow the shape of the outer edge of the reef piecewise (as opposed to the shortest as the crow flies distance, I don't reach 2,300 km.--Ratzer (talk) 16:48, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Which map are you using? --Malkinann (talk) 06:59, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm using a map of one to a trillion scale, I can measure around sub atomic particles, and I get a outside arc of 3 billion billion kilometers... Well its normal to use a handfull of straight lines or arcs to measure the length .. (talk) 21:54, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

hoped u liked the onfo i hope its usefull —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:40, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was speedy close. This article is not about great barrier reefs in general. It's about one specific reef, whose name is the Great Barrier Reef. As a proper noun, the name should remain capitalized. Wikipedia uses the most common name of the subject of the article as the article title, and in this case the most common name is unambiguously the current title. Jafeluv (talk) 09:01, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Great Barrier ReefGreat barrier reef — I propose a move to eliminate the large B and R so as to show that it is a barrier reef from Australia, and not a given name to a regular reef. Actually I'd even name it Australia barrier reef, but I guess that would be a stretch too far for most Wikipedians —Preceding unsigned comment added by 07:00, August 11, 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose. This is a given or proper name, therefore it is appropriately capitalized. -- P 1 9 9 • TALK 13:01, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per P199. Vsmith (talk) 16:08, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per P199. –Juliancolton | Talk 16:36, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose for same reasons as above. --DAJF (talk) 22:42, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose.
    V = I * R (talk) 00:28, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Common use in English. Speedy close? Skinsmoke (talk) 07:04, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

What can we do to hurt the reef?[edit]

We can stop the reed from dying by cutting down the use of petrol cars and not littering near the water. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is an authority that is protecting the reef. They say we can help at home by recycling, wash your car on the lawn, use environmentally friendly cleaners and open windows to catch the breeze instead of the air conditioner. You are also not allowed to fish on the reef. == kill it!

red sea coral[edit]

does anyone know if thrs much research yet comparing red sea corals that thrive in warmer waters, to australian corals, in terms of adapting & engineering australian corals to warmer temps??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by FreyasCrystalizedAngels (talkcontribs) 03:22, 18 January 2010 (UTC)



This article is really interesting and i cant wait until i can go there and really experience the dangers of scuba diving. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Cainozoic? It's Cenozoic[edit]

I have never even heard of this spelling before. Can we try to keep a consistent nomenclature here on Wikipedia? It's "Cenozoic" in every textbook I've ever read. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MathUDX (talkcontribs) 20:43, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

The cited source used Cainozoic, which is probably why I used it here. Consistency throughout the whole of Wikipedia is impossible to maintain - only consistency within an article is desired. --Malkinann (talk) 21:03, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Error in 'Management' section?[edit]

The 'Management' section contains the phrase "...The updated version states that to date, none of the efforts undertaken to improve the quality of water entering the reef has been unsuccessful.". It then goes on with several statements implying that none of the efforts have been successful, not unsuccessful. Which is correct? Bcb9153 (talk) 17:50, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

I believe this was a typo and changed to "successful". Materialscientist (talk) 04:54, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Yellow-band disease has an article on Wikipedia[edit]

The mentioning of Yellow-band disease in the articles 'Tourism' section is a red link that does not lead to an existing page. However this is because it is typed as "yellow band disease". The actual page is called Yellow-band disease, it should be changed to that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bibzy (talkcontribs) 09:31, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Fixed it, thanks for the alert. Best wishes DBaK (talk) 17:46, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

with 400 types of coral <ref>The Telegraph stretching for[edit]

great to have a stupid copy/paste error right in the first paragraph of a protected page... (talk) 14:33, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Reverted, those recent edits, thanks. Materialscientist (talk) 00:00, 24 September 2013 (UTC)


[v >> Australia agrees dumping near Barrier Reef](Lihaas (talk) 16:24, 31 January 2014 (UTC)).

hello — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

External link issue[edit]

Recently an external link was added to the page, in addition to the several already there. I removed it, saying in my edit summary "already too many ELs and doesn't add anything special - also not clear whose site it is or why should be included". The original editor reverted my removal, saying "This site is better than most external links already there. So do your research". The site in question is here. My view is that there is no shortage of reputable ELs in the article, such as from the Australian government's environment department, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia's top national research body on the reef (the CRC) as well as Australia's peak tourism body. In contrast, the site that was added is authored by one individual (though which one is actually a tricky subject: see my observations here). In any case, there is no evidence that the site is peer reviewed, written by anyone with any expertise, and it is over fifteen years old. The page contains grammatical and formatting errors, also indicative of a poor quality source. My views are (1) this should not be in the external links section as it doesn't meet the cut for being important enough given the much more reliable sources available and (2) the site probably doesn't meet our criteria for being a reliable source at all, and should not be used for that reason. Can I get other editor views please? hamiltonstone (talk) 11:55, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Keep: I think that the external link article is a very good one - and it is definitely more informative about the Great Barrier Reef than many of the other external links on the page. I think that the site is a very important one and deserves its place among the external links for the article and should remain. Figaro (talk) 12:34, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Can you please comment on whether it meets reliability criteria? Incidentially, I agree regardingt the Tourism Australia link - which I am removing. Also, I don't think ELs are supposed to be summary informatino of the kind that the WP article itself actually delivers. They are meant to performa function different to the function of the article itself. Sites of regulators etc do this. My view is that this site does not. hamiltonstone (talk) 22:43, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Threatened species known to occur in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area[edit]

Hi All

I started an article Threatened species known to occur in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, it still needs a lot of work and would appreciate some help. It's quite a complex job that would help others to be done systematically, please see the talk page for notes and information.

Many thanks

--Mrjohncummings (talk) 23:16, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

bli bla blu for you — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2003:73:8F69:4301:553A:B4CF:657:FD03 (talk) 13:58, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 22 external links on Great Barrier Reef. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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N Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 22:55, 28 August 2015 (UTC)