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Coral reef Hawaii
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With humans at home, coral reefs and marine animals in Hawaii are thriving

Written by
Sarah Medina

There's no denying it: With people stuck at home, wild animals are currently living their best lives. From the wolves, bears and bobcats freely roaming Yosemite National Park to the goats, deer and ducks taking back urban spaces all over the world, animals are having a grand old time while us humans are away. 

The most recent example is the marine life in Hawaii. Since the state's residents started staying home and tourism came to a halt, the absence of scuba divers, snorkelers and beach bums is bringing new life to the coral reefs around Oahu.

“We’re getting a lot of different anecdotal reports of you know, schooling fish and much more present fish in areas like Molokini Crater. Also reports of spinner dolphins in bays in West Hawaii that are just much more prevalent, just seeing different behaviors and activity we haven’t seen in years,” Brian Neilson told Kron4

It's not uncommon for hundreds of people to visit areas like Hanauma Bay and Shark’s Cove on a daily basis during a normal spring, but with the crowds gone, scientists are seeing more fish closer to the shoreline, better water clarity and an abundance of algae. 

“The tops of the rocks are all covered in algae," said Jenny Yagodich. And that’s fantastic for the ecosystem. Normally all the feet scrub all that off." 

With scientists also staying home, it's been hard to properly measure these improvements. Neilson added, "Our best case scenario is if we are able to get biologists out in the field before the flood gates open again for tourism to come back." 

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