Coral monitoring

What is it?

Coral monitoring is used to assess the health and composition of coral communities. Monitoring coral reef communities in relation to changes in local water quality is essential in evaluating long-term ecosystem health, and informing management actions to address threatening processes.

Examples of coral monitoring programs include:

Great Barrier Reef

Monitoring of coral is a key component informing the development of report cards for the Great Barrier Reef. Results are summarised in annual report cards. See details on coral indicators used in the marine reporting.

Regional report cards also assess the health of coral as part of more targeted reef report card programs. Examples include the Gladstone Harbour Report Card and the Mackay-Whitsunday Report Card.

Further information on the Queensland Government’s actions to protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef is available on the Great Barrier Reef website.

South East Queensland

Monitoring of ecosystem health in South East Queensland (including Moreton Bay) is reported through annual report cards by Healthy Land and Water.

University researchers and Reef Check Australia also assess the health of coral communities.


CoralWatch is a citizen science project based at the University of Queensland. CoralWatch helps non-scientists around the globe understand and support effective reef management by using engaging tools that provide people with accessible information and hands-on-experience collecting scientific data about the health of corals.

The Queensland Government committed $150,000 to CoralWatch in April 2016 so all Queenslanders can help scientists monitor Great Barrier Reef bleaching.