Postcards from the Field: A Survey of Pohnpei's Marine Life

The island of Pohnpei is home to more than 100 endemic species, found nowhere else on the planet.

By Louise Goggin
Conservation Writer
CRC Reef Research Centre
Welcome to Pohnpei

Assessing the Health of Pohnpei's Marine Life

One of the wettest places on Earth, the island of Pohnpei is a deep green speck in the vast blue Pacific Ocean. Rising from the ocean depths, the island of Pohnpei is home to more than 100 endemic species, found nowhere else on the planet. But until now, life below the turquoise waters has not been well known.

The Nature Conservancy is working with a local partner organization, the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, to survey the marine life of Pohnpei. The Conservation Society of Pohnpei was formed in 1998 and, as part of its mission to conserve Pohnpei’s natural heritage, is working hard to protect its marine life.

From June until October 2005, a team of local and international scientists will survey Pohnpei’s corals, fishes and seagrasses. The survey will identify areas that are a high priority for conservation. The survey team completed a similar survey of marine life in the Solomon Islands last year.

Information from the survey will help government agencies, non-governmental organizations and communities with their conservation efforts, so they can better manage these critical resources. This assessment can also be a model for other Micronesian states that want to better conserve their underwater life.

The survey is a cooperative project by the Pohnpei Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Department of Economic Affairs - Division of Marine Development, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, The Nature Conservancy and Australian scientific institutions including the Western Australian Museum, Cooperative Research Centre for the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries. It is funded by Packard Foundation, the US Dept. of Interior, UNESCO and CORAL.

Next: The survey starts!
For more information about our work in the Federated States of Micronesia:
  • How You Can Help: Donate Online
    Support conservation by helping to save the last great places in the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • How We Work: Global Marine Initiative
    Learn more about The Nature Conservancy's marine conservation efforts. Currently we have over 100 marine projects in 21 countries and 22 U.S. states.



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