Protected Caribbean Corals Program

Final Recovery Plan for Elkhorn and Staghorn Coral Release 

NOAA Fisheries announces the release of the Final Recovery Plan for the threatened elkhorn and staghorn corals. Recovery plans serve as a road map for species recovery. This recovery plan presents criteria that are targets by which to gauge recovery. They also present actions necessary to achieve recovery. The purpose of the Recovery Plan for Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals is to rebuild and assure the long-term viability of elkhorn and staghorn coral populations in the wild, allowing ultimately for the species’ removal from the federal list of endangered and threatened species.

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On January 12, 2015, we issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for the five corals newly listed as threatened on September 10, 2014. This ANPR is intended to alert other agencies and the public to our planning efforts and request public input that will assist in identifying actions and activities that may impact the status of these corals, as well as information on the existence and efficacy of on-going conservation activities. This information will help inform our evaluation of what, if any, protective regulations are necessary and advisable for the conservation of these species. Please see the Federal Register Notice linked above for instructions on submitting relevant information; the deadline for submission is February 10, 2015.

NOAA Fisheries works to protect and preserve corals and coral reefs by addressing the threats that are causing their decline. Caribbean species as “threatened” include elkhorn coral, staghorn coral, lobed star coral, boulder star coral, mountainous star coral, pillar coral, and rough cactus coral.

Learn more about threats facing corals.

Learn how you can help protect corals and coral reefs.

Educational Resources

Live Rock Factsheet - If you find a piece of live rock material with a threatened coral species attached, you must leave that piece of live rock on the bottom. 

Be Coral Conscious Brochure - Report a coral sighting, learn about legal protections, and learn how to act responsibly around corals. 

More Information