Live Habitat Mapping

Mapping the entire Great Barrier Reef.

Heron Island Benthic Community Map

#The project

Satellite technology combined with images taken by drones are enabling the development of a new reef mapping and ecological modelling technique.

If you don’t know exactly what’s there, how can you hope to protect it? 

No comprehensive map of all the vast and diverse habitats on the whole Great Barrier Reef currently exists. Perhaps not surprising when you’re dealing with something that spans 2,300 kilometres, is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs, and is located up to 2,000 metres underwater! The ‘Live’ Habitat Mapping pilot study is the first step towards creating one. Scientists are using the accessible, shallow offshore reefs of the Capricorn Bunker Group in central Queensland as a test case. 

Important features of these shallow reefs will now be put on the map including ocean floor depth, reef slopes, reef crests, reef flats, lagoons, islands and dominant coral type to create a detailed picture of the complex habitat.

Capricorn Bunker - February 2017

#Project partners

University of Queensland