Lifestyle Environment 07 Apr 2017 Power of attraction ...

Power of attraction may help protect Great Barrier Reef

PTI
Published Apr 7, 2017, 6:50 pm IST
Updated Apr 7, 2017, 9:02 pm IST
Crown-of-thorns starfish feast on the coral and leave it bleached white and vulnerable to destruction in heavy storms.
The Great Barrier Reef has been endangered for many years. (Representational Image)
 The Great Barrier Reef has been endangered for many years. (Representational Image)

Melbourne: In a breakthrough, scientists have found a new way that could help protect Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef by using the powers of attraction to
decimate one of the reef's fiercest enemies.

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have revealed that crown-of-thorns starfish gather in large numbers due to a release of pheromones - a scent they have decoded so the prickly pests can be lured to their capture. "For an already struggling Great Barrier Reef, and indeed any reefs across the Indo-Pacific region, these starfish pose an enormous threat due to the ability of a single female to produce up to 120 million offspring in one spawning season," said Professor Bernard Degnan, who led the study.

 

"They feast on the coral and leave it bleached white and vulnerable to destruction in heavy storms," said Degnan. Millions of dollars have been spent over many years on a variety of ways to capture crown-of-thorns starfish, whether it be via diver collection, injections or robotics.

"Now we have found the genes the starfish use to communicate, we can begin fabricating environmentally safe baits that trick them into gathering in one place, making it easier to remove reproductively-primed animals," Degnan said. The research was published in the journal Nature.

 

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
-->