Wellington’s Solitary Coral

scientific name: Rhizopsammia wellingtoni

Last seen: 2000 in the Galápagos

Years lost: 17

Wellington’s Solitary Coral is an endemic species from the Galápagos Archipelago in Ecuador, recorded between 2 and 43 meters underwater. Before 1982, this species was considered abundant at some sites, but the El Niño event of 1982 and 1983 destroyed most colonies of this species, except for two populations. But since 2000, scientists have not found the coral even at those two sites, indicating that the species is particularly sensitive to changes in the temperature of water in which they live.