The Great Barrier Reef Library

A comprehensive guide to The Great Barrier Reef


By on November 10, 2017

About Us

We are a small, non profit organisation that aims to bridge the gap between scientists and the general public, by creating a site that contains everything we know about The Great Barrier Reef and displaying it in a way that is simple to understand and yet maintains its scientific integrity. This is a large project that will take many years to complete. If you see a gap, something that you would like to know more about and it is not currently included in The Great Barrier Reef Library, please let us know and we will try to prioritise that piece of the puzzle. Similarly, if you find anything that you do not believe is correct and wish to challenge, please let us know, so that we can double check it, come up with the facts, or make amendments as necessary. Click here for more information.

About The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is a magnificent place. It is the largest living structure on Earth, as well as one of the most diverse habitats, home to a multitude of marine life.  It stretches from the far northern tip of Australia, down to the Bundaberg area in South-East Queensland.  That makes it over 2,300km long, 250km wide at its widest point and 60km wide at its narrowest.  It is 344,400km. Click here for more information

History of The Great Barrier Reef

Coral polyps evolved over 500 million years ago, but The Great Barrier Reef formed only 500,000 years ago. It has changed a lot over the years, with the modern GBR taking shape 20,000 years ago. It has survived many traumatic events since then and we have slowly begun to learn more about this incredible place over time. Click here for more information.

Tree of Life

Use this page to find the group of animals you would like to know more about.  Simply work your way through the links until you find what you are looking for.  If you already know what you are looking for, then try our search function in the menu bar.  Note that we are consistently adding to this page and its links.


The Great Barrier Reef is currently facing many threats, but it is a very complex issue as a number of these threats are connected. Many scientists predict that The Great Barrier Reef could be gone in the next 100 years, with some believing only 15 years! Between 1985 and 2012, The Great Barrier Reef lost half of its coral. 48% of this loss was due to tropical storms and cyclones, 42% was due to Crown of Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) and 10% was due to Coral Bleaching. Despite this, there is still hope. Click here for more information


The Great Barrier Reef is an incredible place, which has led many groups to help fight for its conservation. Unfortunately, it faces a number of threats, many of which are connected. Therefore solving the problem becomes quite difficult as we need to focus on all of the issues simultaneously. Click here to learn about what you can do to help, or to learn more about current conservation projects.