Scientists breed threatened Florida coral species

STORY: Location: Orlando, Florida

Scientists have successfully bred

a threatened coral species

as part of a project that hopes to

restore damaged reefs off Florida

The center has bred hundreds of rough cactus coral

[Justin Zimmerman, Florida Coral Rescue Center]

“There is potential to propagate these corals on a number, on a level that you could return some of these corals to the wild, and there's a potential that you could save the species by doing that.”

Reefs in Florida are threatened

by a relatively new disease

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease

which strips coral of its color and

ultimately its life altogether

and is even deadlier than

coral bleaching

“Spawning for corals is a luxury. So if the coral is not healthy and it's not doesn't have a surplus of energy, it won’t invest in reproduction. So the first thing we had to do is make sure that the coral has great conditions to live in.”

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