The slideshow ‘tells the story’ of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park with a portfolio of photos that illustrate some of the main features of this outstanding place, with its extraordinary diversity of marine life. The reefs are accessed by visitors on live-aboard tourist vessels, fully equipped with necessary scuba diving equipment. There is very little to be seen above the water surface, but the two tiny coral islets on the North and South Atolls are shown, together with two important species of seabirds to be found here – the critically endangered Christmas Island Frigate Bird (a regular visitor) and crested terns (which breed on the South Island). The remainder of the slideshow demonstrates the great diversity of marine life – including corals, anemones, fish, turtles, manta rays, whale sharks as well as top predators such as tiger and hammerhead sharks. A short series showing a variety of colourful species of nudibranch (small marine ‘slugs’) is included, as well as other underwater icons such as clown anemone fish. Some extraordinary species of fish are so well camouflaged that they are difficult to make out, even in a closeup photo, as they hide in the sand, coral or seaweed waiting for their next meal.
The following Flickr photographers are acknowledged with thanks for their contributions to this slideshow: q phia, Stephen McGrath, Wikiwand, Francesco Veronesi, Gregg Yan, Andy Nelson, Jayvee Fernandez, Raymond, Matthew Paulson, Nik Wilets, Tom Gruber and Christian Jensen