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Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    An aerial view shows Lady Elliot Island, located northeast of the town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia. UNESCO World Heritage delegates recently snorkeled on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, thousands of coral reefs, which stretch over 2,000 km off the northeast coast. Surrounded by manta rays, dolphins and reef sharks, their mission was to check the health of the world's largest living ecosystem, which brings in billions of dollars a year in tourism. Some coral has been badly damaged and animal species, including dugong and large green turtles, are threatened. UNESCO has debated putting the Great Barrier Reef on its endangered list.

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    A reef shell lies on a beach as the sun sets on Lady Elliot Island. Though UNESCO World Heritage has not put the Great Barrier Reef on its endangered list it said earlier this year the reef's outlook was "poor."

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    Small bushes grow on a coral beach on Lady Elliot Island located northeast of the town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia. Australia's Great Barrier Reef brings in billions of dollars a year in tourism.

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    Tourists snorkel near a turtle as it looks for food amongst the coral in the lagoon at Lady Elliot Island. The lagoon, which is occupied by turtles during high tide, is only accessible for snorkeling during this time.

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    Gash, owner and manager of the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, prepares to snorkel during an inspection of the reef's condition.

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    Peter Gash, left, owner and manager of the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, snorkels with Oliver Lanyon and Lewis Marshall, senior rangers in the Great Barrier Reef region for the Queenlsand Parks and Wildlife Service. They were carrying out an inspection of the reef's condition in an area called the Coral Gardens. Gash snorkels every morning before he attends to managing duties on the island, and was showing the Great Barrier Reef rangers the current condition of the reef.

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    Gash snorkels during an inspection of the reef's condition in an area called the Coral Gardens. Some coral has been badly damaged and animal species, including dugong and large green turtles, are threatened.

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    Tourists stand in front of huts that form part of the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort where a turtle digs for food amongst the coral in the island's lagoon, northeast of the town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia.

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    A boat carrying tourists floats above an area called the Coral Gardens near Lady Elliot Island. UNESCO has not placed the Great Barrier Reef on the endangered list, to the relief of the Australian government.

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    Photos: Great Barrier Reef avoids trip to endangered list - Reuters | of | Share this photo

    Tourists walk from a boat after diving near Lady Elliot Island. UNESCO World Heritage delegates recently snorkeled on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, thousands of coral reefs, which stretch over 2,000 km off the northeast coast.

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