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Coral Permits for Scientific Research and Enhancement Permits

In August 2014, we listed 20 corals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, out of the 66 coral species proposed for listing.

Caribbean coral species:

Indo-Pacific coral species:

  • Acropora globiceps
  • Acropora jacquelineae
  • Acropora lokani
  • Acropora pharaonis
  • Acropora retusa
  • Acropora rudis
  • Acropora speciosa
  • Acropora tenella
  • Anacropora spinosa
  • Euphyllia paradivisa
  • Isopora crateriformis
  • Montipora australiensis
  • Pavona diffluens
  • Porites napopora
  • Seriatopora aculeata

Note: We did not list any corals as endangered under the ESA.

Do I need an ESA permit to do research on these corals?

No, you do not need a NMFS ESA Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit for research or enhancement activities on threatened corals. However, depending on the location of your coral research activities, you may need other permits from federal (e.g., National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries), state, or local agencies for these species.

However, a 4(d) rule for the elkhorn and staghorn corals is in place at this time, and continues to be effective. We may determine that ESA take prohibitions would be extended to the 20 newly listed coral species through a separate rulemaking process, though rulemaking has not been initiated.

Will I need a permit in the future?

If we determine that ESA take prohibitions would be extended to threatened corals, through a 4(d) rule, you may need a permit.

If you would like to be updated on any changes, please subscribe to our mailing list by emailing NMFS.coral.permits@noaa.gov with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Are there any additional coral species that might be listed under the ESA ?

Yes, 3 species of corals are candidates for listing under the ESA. If those species are listed under the ESA, you may need a permit. These species were not included in this determination, as they were requested to be listed through a separate petition.

More Information

Updated: August 27, 2014