Discovery & Conservation - Rock Pool
Saving Zavora Micro-Life
The tidal reefs are key ecosystems for nudibranchs and many other micro animals, as well as for the local communities, especially woman and children who harvest the area for mollusks. However, the tidal reefs of Zavora have been quickly damaged and it is likely that many species might locally disappear even before they are described. The problem lies on the lack of interest and awareness in tidal reef diversity and the rapid destruction of the reefs by illegal fishing nets. This project aims to raise conservation of the tidal reefs by: 1) assessing the diversity of nudibranchs and main marine life on tidal reefs at Zavora; 2) create awareness and interest on the micro-life.
Data collection is done through SCUBA diving and snorkeling. Posterior studies on nudibranch taxonomy is conducted. Additionally. underwater clean up and reef relief activities take place twice a month to reduce human impacts in the tidal reef.
This project contributes globally for the understanding of nudibranchs diversity by solving taxonomic problems and describing new species. It will fill one of the biggest geographic gap on the knowledge of nudibranch distribution and therefore help to understand wider biogeography questions. At local and national level it is expected that the environmental education activities associated to this project will raise interest in micro marine life and therefore the protection of ecosystems that are crucial to local communities and biodiversity but due the lack of flag species are often forgotten.