In the pristine waters of Cayos Cochinos, where vibrant coral reefs are a symbol of biodiversity, there's a silent battle underway against Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). Today, we offer a glimpse into the ongoing efforts to monitor and combat this threat through a series of revealing photos captured during our monthly monitoring activities.
At the heart of these efforts are seven priority sites: Roatan Banks, Caballeros, Punta Pelícano (Cayo Mayor), Playa 1 (Cayo Menor), Playa Pelicano (Cayo Menor), Estación Científica (Cayo Menor), and Cayo Timón. These locations have been identified as crucial areas for tracking the progression of SCTLD.
The monitoring ritual is a year-round commitment, conducted once a month to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the disease's dynamics. Each site tells a unique story, contributing vital data that forms the backbone of our strategy to combat SCTLD.
The information gathered from these monitoring activities goes beyond the surface, providing valuable insights into the intricacies of SCTLD in Cayos Cochinos. By identifying the coral species most affected, we gain a nuanced perspective on the disease's impact on the ecosystem.
Armed with data, our team can pinpoint specific sites that require treatment interventions to mitigate the effects of SCTLD. This targeted approach is vital in conserving the delicate balance of marine life in these ecosystems.
Beyond treatment, the monitoring activities allow us to assess the extent of the disease's impact on each site. Understanding which areas are most affected guides our conservation priorities, ensuring that resources are directed where they are needed the most.
The battle against SCTLD is a complex and ongoing endeavor. Through the lens of our monitoring activities, we gain not only a visual representation of the disease's presence but also the knowledge needed to protect and restore the invaluable coral reefs of Cayos Cochinos. Together, with a commitment to data-driven conservation, we strive to secure a future where these vibrant underwater ecosystems thrive once more.
Undergoing study by Jose Felix Martinez, Honduras Coral Reef Fund (Fundación Cayos Cochinos)