Let’s Save the Great Barrier Reef


Let’s Save the Great Barrier Reef is the third in a superb series from Catherine Barr and Jean Claude.

We are treated to a full explanation of why the reef is so precious. It seems that it’s bigger than 70 million football pitches! Then again, more importantly, it is a unique ecosystem that sustains microscopic life to humans in the Torres Strait. The rainbow coloured corals that grow in the reef are hard skeletons formed of protein, covering minuscule brown algae. Within the reefs live 1, 500 fish, including whale sharks, sea horses and parrot fish. Then again, along its reef shallows grow sea grasses and mangroves that provide food for dugongs and rays, and nesting sites for thousands of sea birds and turtles.

Out to sea live more than thirty species of whale and dolphin.

However overfishing has depleted the number of fish and damaged the ‘fragile reef habitats’. What’s more, ecotourist certificates are needed now for the millions of tourists who might wish to take up activities like diving or snorkelling within the reef. Yet the biggest problem is ‘the rise in ocean temperatures‘. It seems that hotter waters compel the corals to eject their algae, which bleach the corals white and make their skeletons weak. Should the algae not be able to return, the corals die, threatening to destroy the habitat.

It seems that governments, scientists and the Torres Strait Islanders, ‘traditional owners of the Great Barrier Reef’ are engaged in research and efforts to save Great Barrier Reef coral from extinction’. What’s more, through reading this book, we are informed about its importance to us, and our planet.

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Let’s Save the Great Barrier Reef

Why We Must Protect Our Planet

Catherine Barr, illustrated by Jean Claude

(Walker Books)

The Great Barrier Reef is the biggest coral structure of all, ‘made up of 3,000 individual coral reefs covering an area bigger than 70 million football pitches!’ However, climate change threatens to destroy this unique living wonder.
It seems the reef’s so big that it can be seen from space, despite the fact it’s made of ‘tiny coral polyps‘ covered with hard skeletons. While it’s the coral that ‘makes its own bright rainbow colours from proteins’, every polyp is home to minuscule brown algae. Then again, these polyps are ‘related to anemones and jellyfish‘. That means they capture food with tentacles ‘that surround their mouths‘. Within this habitat live ‘more than 1, 500 species of fish‘, including clownfish, seahorses and ‘huge whale sharks‘. What’s more than thirty species of whales and dolphins live and breed in the area, while seabirds and turtles nest in the area.
Then there are mangroves and sea walls that protect the area, and give food and shelter to birds, sea snakes, rays, dugongs, shellfish, and nurseries to millions of fish. Then again, mangroves and seagrass keep the waters clean. What’s more, clean waters are depended upon by ocean fish. However, there is a real threat of overfishing in this area, that damages the habitat and the food chain too. Thereafter, the writer explains the effect that devastating effect that climate change is having upon this habitat…
Like Let’s Save The Amazon and then,  Antarctica, Let’s Save the Great Barrier Reef, is a thorough and compelling read. Not only do we learn about why this habitat is unique, but then we realise its potential, and the real threat to its existence. The brilliant colours of Jean Claude’s pictures, support Catherine Barr’s superb text. Bookwagon loves this series. We urge readers to choose these books to learn from, understand and act.


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