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About

Pink Beach is a delightful dive and one of the most popular spots in the park. The pristine pink beach get its colour from red coral fragments, and is located near to the trekking area on Komodo Island. The shallow reef begins just by the beach, and is perhaps one of the best snorkelling sites in the park; deep enough to snorkel at low tide and not too deep at high tide. Colourful stands of hard coralslie interspersed by brilliant patches of white sand, and form a haven for fish of all shapes and sizes. The life here is more typical of the southern sites, and water temperature is usually around 25°C. The predominant currents here are mild and from the south, and the site is best dived on a falling tide. About 50 m out from the beach, a small rocky outcrop is exposed at low tide, and marks the ideal starting point for this dive. Follow the wall down to 18-20 m, where large schools of fusiliers, snappers, very tame grouper, and many lionfish and scorpionfish can be found engulfing the headland. While only a small dive site, it is nonetheless very rich in both hard and soft corals, with plentiful tunicates and feather stars. Careful searching in and around the rocks can reveal frogfish, nudibranchs, fire urchins, crocodile fish, crustaceans and much, much more. Further to the northeast lies a steep sandy slope which is home to razor fish and, if you are lucky, the very rare and elusive sand diver. There are two options to finish this dive. Either follow the reef slope up into the shallows, and explore the lively coral garden between the rocky outcrop and the beach. Alternatively, if the current is running to the northeast, drift with the current through the passage and up into the shallows. A night dive at pink beach is a delight! Crabs and crustaceans scurry about, and the magnificent Spanish dancers are frequently found. Mandarin fish dart between coral branches in theshallows, while hunting cuttlefish stalk their unsuspecting prey. If the current is a little stronger, the rocky headland to the southwest of the beach has less spectacular corals but is a great critter dive and will allow you to drift through to the rocky outcrop to end the dive.

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Megafauna
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Whitetip Reef

The whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus) is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae, and the only member of its genus. A small shark usually not exceeding 1.6 m (5.2 ft) in length, this species is easily recognizable by its slender body and short but broad head, as well as tubular skin flaps beside the nostrils, oval eyes with vertical pupils, and white-tipped dorsal and caudal fins. One of the most common sharks found on Indo-Pacific coral reefs, the whitetip reef shark occurs as far west as South Africa and as far east as Central America. It is typically found on or near the bottom in clear water, at a depth of 8–40 m (26–131 ft). During the day, whitetip reef sharks spend much of their time resting inside caves. Unlike other requiem sharks, which rely on ram ventilation and must constantly swim to breathe, this shark can pump water over its gills and lie still on the bottom. At night, whitetip reef sharks emerge to hunt bony fishes, crustaceans, and octopus in groups, their elongate bodies allowing them to force their way into crevices and holes to extract hidden prey. Individuals may stay within a particular area of the reef for months to years, time and again returning to the same shelter. This species is viviparous, in which the developing embryos are sustained by a placental connection to their mother. One of the few sharks in which mating has been observed in the wild, receptive female whitetip reef sharks are followed by prospective males, which attempt to grasp her pectoral fin and maneuver the two of them into positions suitable for copulation. Females give birth to one to six pups every other year, after a gestation period of 10–13 months. Whitetip reef sharks are rarely aggressive towards humans, though they may investigate swimmers closely. However, spear fishers are at risk of being bitten by one attempting to steal their catch. This species is caught for food, though ciguatera poisoning resulting from its consumption has been reported. The IUCN has assessed the whitetip reef shark as Near Threatened, noting its numbers are dwindling due to increasing levels of unregulated fishing activity across its range. The slow reproductive rate and limited habitat preferences of this species renders its populations vulnerable to overfishing.

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Bleaching

Bleaching occurs when corals expel their symbiotic zooxanthellae - pigmented, algae-like protozoa that live within the coral's cells. High temperature, pollution or other stresses can cause the coral to expel its zooxanthellae, leading to a lighter or complete loss of color.

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