Manager of Research and Conservation, Dr Rebecca Spindler is currently out on the Great Barrier Reef with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) to collect coral spawn to add to the gene bank currently housed at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Her field update below:
We have had a busy and late couple of nights on the reef.
This colony of Montipora digitata - a new species for us - was caught spawning on the first night of a very successful spawn. Polyps just about to or that have just released eggs can be seen in the centre of the photo. This species spawned early so we were able to take some great photos before the busy period started.
We have seen all sorts of branching and brain corals spawning - it's so great to watch. We have been up until 5am the last three nights recording coral biology, fertilising eggs and cryopreserving several species. Our outdoor lab has stayed at about 27oC through the night.
We are still waiting for one key species tonight and tomorrow, so there may be a few more late nights in store....
- Dr Rebecca Spindler
Background on last years project: