Acropora paragemmifera | UAE National Red List of Marine Species: Reef-building corals, cartilaginous fishes and select bony fishes

Acropora paragemmifera | Claereboudt, 2006
Countries in Assessment
United Arab Emirates
Country ISO code(s)
Does the assessment cover a marine EEZ area(s)?
Scope (Assessment)
Taxonomic Group
Taxonomic Group Level 2
Assessed taxon level
Taxonomic Notes
This species, resembling Acropora gemmifera, was described in 2006. As Claereboudt (2006) did not designate a holotype, it is considered a nomen nudum (Veron et al. 2016, Hoeksema and Cairns 2019, WoRMS database accessed 5 January 2022).
Taxon distribution as listed in assessment
The distribution of this nominal species is poorly known. It was described from the Sea of Oman (Claereboudt 2006) and has since been reported from Rul Dibba Al Faqeet Marine Protected Area, Fujairah, UAE (Bento 2009). Therefore, it is suspected to also occur in UAE waters of the Sea of Oman, but not within the Gulf. However, the validity of the name A. paragemmifera requires further research.
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
It is found in Acropora dominated communities (Claereboudt 2006).The age of first maturity of most reef building corals is typically three to eight years (Wallace 1999) and therefore we assume that average age of mature individuals is greater than eight years. Total longevity is not known, but likely to be more than ten years. Furthermore, based on average sizes and growth rates, we assume that average generation length is 10 years, unless otherwise stated. Therefore, any population decline rates for the Red List assessment are measured over at least 30 years.
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Data Deficient
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment rationale/justification
This recently-described nominal species is reported from several localities in the Sea of Oman, including Fujairah. In general, acroporids were dominant coral species historically, but have largely been extirpated from reefs within UAE waters since the 1970s. The most important known threat for acroporids is extensive reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats. As the distribution of this species in UAE waters is highly uncertain, it is listed as Data Deficient; given the extensive threats to acroporid corals in UAE, and their resultant decline, further research on the distribution of this species is necessary. No regional adjustment is made to the Data Deficient listing.
About the assessment
Assessment year
Assessors/contributors/reviewers listed
UAE National Red List Workshop
Affliation of assessor(s)/contributors/reviewers listed on assessment
Assessor affiliation specific
Criteria system
Criteria system specifics
IUCN v3.1
Criteria system used
Criteria Citation
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1, Second edition. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. iv + 32pp pp. And IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. iii + 41pp.
Endemic to region
Endemism Notes
Is an endemic?: Not_assigned
Threats listed in assessment
In the Sea of Oman, UAE reefs have experienced major hurricanes and harmful algal blooms that caused high coral mortality and shifted community structure (Bauman et al. 2010, Foster et al. 2011).Globally, the major threat to corals is global climate change, in particular, temperature extremes leading to bleaching and increased susceptibility to disease, increased severity of ENSO events and storms, and ocean acidification. Other threats include the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci), which has been observed preferentially preying upon corals of the genus Acropora (Colgan 1987). These voracious predators of reef-building corals are found throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Red Sea. Populations of the crown-of-thorns starfish have greatly increased since the 1970s and have been known to wipe out large areas of coral reef habitat. Increased breakouts have become a major threat to some species, and have contributed to the overall decline and reef destruction in the Indo-Pacific region. The effects of such an outbreak include the reduction of abundance and surface cover of living coral, reduction of species diversity and composition, and overall reduction in habitat area. Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide and a major cause of reef deterioration (Weil 2006). The numbers of diseases and coral species affected, as well as the distribution of diseases have all increased dramatically within since the 1990s (Porter et al. 2001, Green and Bruckner 2000, Sutherland et al. 2004, Weil 2004). Coral disease epizootics have resulted in significant losses of coral cover and were implicated in the dramatic decline of acroporids in the Florida Keys (Aronson and Precht 2001, Porter et al. 2001, Patterson et al. 2002). In the Indo-Pacific, disease is also on the rise with disease outbreaks recently reported from the Great Barrier Reef (Willis et al. 2004), Marshall Islands (Jacobson 2006) and the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (Aeby et al. 2006). Increased coral disease levels on the Great Barrier Reef were correlated with increased ocean temperatures (Willis et al. 2004), supporting the prediction that disease levels will be increasing with higher sea surface temperatures. Escalating anthropogenic stressors combined with the threats associated with global climate change of increases in coral disease, frequency and duration of coral bleaching and ocean acidification place coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific at high risk of collapse.Localized threats to corals include fisheries, human development (industry, settlement, tourism, and transportation), changes in native species dynamics (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), invasive species (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), dynamite fishing, chemical fishing, pollution from agriculture and industry, domestic pollution, sedimentation, and human recreation and tourism activities.
Conservation Measures

Conservation measures:
Conservation measures notes:
Required conservation measures:

Scientific Name Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Acropora paragemmifera Animalia Cnidaria Anthozoa Scleractinia Acroporidae Acropora