- Galaxea, Journal of Coral Reef Studies (ISSN:18830838)
- vol.15, no.Supplement, pp.391-395, 2013 (Released:2014-06-25)
The Sango (Coral) Map Project began in 2008, an International Year of the Reef, and continued for two years. It is a monitoring program that allowed for easy participation via a web-based system that collected information on coral occurrence from various groups of people (e.g. divers, snorkelers, tourists, environmental educators, and researchers) with the aim of clarifying the current status of coral reefs in Japan. Participants simply submitted occurrences and location information with photographs of coral formations they encountered. The results are presented on the web using the Google Map API. Over the two-year period, 148 participants provided information on coral occurrence, and 367 data points were collected. Collaboration was developed with other activities including nature tours and diving programs. Data from the project have been used to validate national coral-reef distribution maps and have been published as a scientific paper. The project owes its success to the engagement with a wide range of networks and stakeholders and to the simplicity of the method. We hope that this project will be a first step towards encouraging people to participate in other monitoring programs such as ReefCheck. Citizen monitoring programs are a useful and important method for establishing collaboration between diverse stakeholders.