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Download Coral Health Index: Measuring Coral Community Health

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High-resolution version for printing (PDF, 19 MB)


Effective local management of coral reefs has a direct effect on reducing threats and improving overall coral community health. Careful zoning and effective enforcement of resource use within a marine managed area reduces impacts of overfishing, allowing populations of grazing fish to rejuvenate and maintain healthy ecosystem functioning. Coastal land management to reduce deforestation and land-based pollution, and planning for sustainable coastal development can ensure that nutrient and sediment loads to the reef environment are kept low, maintaining a vibrant coral reef community.

Coral reefs that are healthy have greater resilience and ability to recover from chronic and acute stress. Global-scale stresses associated with climate change include elevated sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, sea level rise, and increasing storm intensity. Adaptive management of coral reef communities will be most effective if a reliable annual indicator of community health is available to resource managers and policymakers. The Coral Health Index (CHI) is such a tool.

Request a printed copy

Printed copies of the Coral Health Index booklet are available on request by contacting Septiana Rustandi, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

CHI Methods Manual
We will soon be posting the CHI Methods Manual. Please click here if you would like to be notified by email when the Manual is available.

Lead authors

Les Kaufman (Conservation International and Boston University)
David Obura (Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean)
Forest Rohwer (San Diego State University)
Enric Sala (National Geographic Society)
Stuart Sandin (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)
John Tschirky (Conservation International)

Project directors
John Tschirky (Conservation International)
Leah Bunce Karrer (Conservation International)

The following images from the CHI booklet may be downloaded for use in presentations and documents.