Progress of the Great Barrier Reef Expedition


AFTER four months at its headquarters on Low Island, forty miles north-north-east of Cairns, North Queensland, the expedition is now (Nov. 21) well advanced with its extensive programme of research. Excellent living accommodation, and what is in effect a well-equipped marine laboratory, have been erected and fully established. The island has been well chosen as the site of work. Situated midway between the Barrier and the mainland, here only fourteen miles apart, it possesses a fauna characteristic of both these regions; there is a mangrove swamp with the usual associated fauna and flora, while, exposed on the reef flat at low tides and all around the island beneath low water, there is an abundant growth of corals comprising many genera. There is thus ample material for experimental and observational work, while the island is so small-although thoroughly characteristic of the inner islands or ‘cays’ which are numerous in the northern portions of the Barrier - that a very detailed ecological survey is possible. The ecological work has been greatly helped by the preparation of a mosaic of the island from a complete series of aerial photographs taken at a height of 2000 feet over the island and reef by an amphibian flying boat belonging to the Royal Australian Air Force. The services of this machine were kindly provided by the Ministry of Defence.

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YONGE, C. Progress of the Great Barrier Reef Expedition. Nature 123, 89–90 (1929).

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