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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits channel and lagoon reef slopes, in coral-rich areas (Ref. 9710). Occurs singly (Ref. 9710).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found in the central west Pacific from the Philippines to Indonesia: northwestern Java, Komodo (Beger and Turak 2008), Halmahera (Green and Muljadi 2009) and western Papua (Raja Ampat, Fak-Fak and Kaimana) (Allen and Erdmann 2009), northwards to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands and eastward to Chuuk, Micronesia. It was also recorded in Hong Kong as Scarus sp. 2 (Sadovy and Cornish 2000).
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Western Pacific: Philippines, Java (Indonesia), Ryukyu Islands, and Palau.
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Western Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 9
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Size

Maximum size: 310 mm NG
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Max. size

40.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 48636))
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Diagnostic Description

Males are easily recognized by the bright orange patch. Females are similar to males but lack orange (Ref. 48636).
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Type Information

Type for Chlorurus bowersi
Catalog Number: USNM 62950
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Illustration
Collector(s): C. Gilbert, J. Snyder, M. Sindo, H. Heath, C. Burke, H. Torrey & A. Clark
Year Collected: 1906
Locality: Naha, Okinawa, Japan., Okinawa, Japan, Ryukyu Islands, Pacific
Vessel: Albatross
  • Type: Snyder, J. O. 1909. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 36 (1688): 602.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is similar to sister species Chlorurus bleekeri. It inhabits sheltered to moderately exposed reef flats and fronts (J.H. Choat pers comm. 2009). It is a small, solitary excavating parrotfish generally found in pairs. It inhabits coral reefs and adjacent rubble bottoms (G. Allen pers comm. 2009).

Generation length justification: 14 (longevity) - 2 (age of maturity) = 7/2 = 3.5 or 4 years

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabits channel and lagoon reef slopes, in coral-rich areas (Ref. 9710). Occurs singly (Ref. 9710). Also Ref. 58652.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Choat, J.H., Carpenter, K.E., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B., Myers, R., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P.

Reviewer/s
McIlwain, J. & Craig, M.T.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a relatively restricted range and occurs in low densities in the Indo-Pacific. In over 90% of its distribution, it is subject to heavy fishing pressure and it is expected that this pressure is likely to increase. It has experienced 50–60% declines in the past 20–30 years in at least one part of its range in the central Philippines. Fishing pressure will undoubtedly continue to increase throughout its range. Although declines in other parts of its range are not well-known, based on estimates in the central Philippines, it is estimated that over the next 15 years (three generation lengths), global population declines will approach 30%. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

Although there are numerous marine reserves in the Coral Triangle Region at the present time, most reserves are not very well managed. However, in well-managed reserves parrotfishes tend to recover comparatively quickly and therefore increased management in protected areas and potentially fishery protection might offset the overexploitation of this species. More research is needed on this species' habitat specific behaviour, population biology, and population status.

History
  • 2010
    Near Threatened
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Population

Population
This species is solitary and relatively rare in central Philippines (Stockwell et al. 2009). Abundance estimates record 0.5–1 kg per 500 m² (Stockwell et al. 2009). This species is occasionally found in Raja Ampat (Allen 2003).

There was a slight decrease observed in Karimunjawa, Indonesia from 2005–2007. In Karimunjawa this species was observed to be common but not abundant (S. Pardede pers comm. 2009).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is caught for food and is heavily fished throughout its range along with other parrotfishes. Increased fishing pressures and habitat disturbance are its major threats. Moreover, its rarity makes it susceptible to overfishing. In the Philippines, it is exploited to at least the same level as C. bleekeri, which has experienced 50–60% declines (Stockwell et al. 2009) over a period of approximately 20–30 years.

Fishing pressure has increased and will undoubtedly continue to increase throughout its range. Based on estimates in the central Philippines (Stockwell et al. 2009), it is estimated that over the next 15 years, population declines will approach 30%.

Parrotfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reefs, while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. Although the majority of the parrotfishes occur in mixed habitat (primarily inhabiting seagrass beds, mangroves, and rocky reefs) approximately 78% of these mixed habitat species are experiencing greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and habitat quality across their distributions. Of those species that occur exclusively in coral reef habitat, more than 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% of coral reef loss and degradation across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of habitat loss and degradation on these species populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that depend on live coral reefs for food and shelter especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats. Furthermore, coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for some corallivorous excavating parrotfishes that play major roles in reef dynamics and sedimentation (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).
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Near Threatened (NT)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range. However, unlike its sister species C. bleekeri, its range does not include reef areas which are well protected by marine reserves and it generally does not exist in areas where it is not exploited.
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Wikipedia

Chlorurus bowersi

Chlorurus bowersi is a species of fish.

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