Great Barrier Reef Region Guide

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Reef Facts

Updated: 21-Mar-2007

Did you know?...

  • The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is 348 000 kilometres - about 70 million football fields, roughly the size of Japan!
  • The World's largest expanse of coral reef - still growing after more than 10,000 years.
  • It is the only living organism that can be seen from outer space.
  • 1.6 million people visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park each year, only accessing a relatively small section of the park.
  • It inhabits 1500 of the world’s 13000 species of marine fish - It’s possible to find as many as 200 different types of fish in just one hectare on the reef
  • Within the Marine Park there are about 2,900 reefs which include 760 fringing reefs and 300 coral cays including: 213 unvegetated cays; 43 vegetated cays and 44 lowland wooded islands.
  • Approximately 3,000 Humpback whales will migrate this season between Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Six of the seven species of marine turtles in the world are found in Australian waters.
  • The female green sea turtle lays it eggs in the same place as it was born.
  • 30 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises live in or visit the Great Barrier Reef waters.
  • Some of the largest populations of dugongs in the world live on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Over 200 species of birds (including) 40 species of seabirds live on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • 14 species of sea snakes are found in Australian waters.
  • Many wrasse, parrotfish and basslets living on the reef started life as females and later changed to males.

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