Skip to main content

Carondelet is a remote seamount in the Phoenix Islands of the Republic of Kiribati. Earlier expeditions of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) were not able to survey the seamount due to challenging ocean conditions. In 2015, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Kiribati Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource Development conducted surveys around the shallow habitats (<30 m) of the seamount to characterize coral reef fish and benthic communities. Biodiversity was generally low, with 12 coral genera (six families), 120 bony fish species (25 families), and two shark species (Triaenodon obesus, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) recorded. The most dominant coral genera were Montipora and Acropora at 5‒8 m and Porites and Pavona at 20 m. Coral cover ranged from 12.8% (± 5.9 s.d.) at 20 m to 35.3% (± 6.2 s.d.) at 12 m. A patch of black reef was observed around an abandoned anchor line, and the team observed unfouled fishing line around the seamount, suggesting that fishing activities had occurred around the time of the survey, despite it being located within PIPA. To our knowledge, this is the only published information on the biodiversity of this remote seamount and makes an important contribution to document the marine resources found within PIPA and the coral reef communities they support. 

Full Paper (Pdf)