Archivos de Diario para septiembre 2020

03 de septiembre de 2020

Flirtatious Shorthead seahorses

By Ebba Hooft-Toomey

Our latest featured iSeahorse observation is this beautiful Shorthead seahorse (Hippocampus breviceps) by iNaturalist user ken_flan. It is also known as the Knobby seahorse and lives in southwestern and southeastern coastal Australia. It’s clear where this seahorse gets its common names as it is characterized by a short snout and fleshy tendrils on its head and back.

While not much is known about H. breviceps, our director, Dr. Amanda Vincent, researched this mysterious species in 2004 and she discovered a few fascinating facts. For example, H. breviceps moves within quite a small area, from 1 to 12 square meters. Interestingly, movement patterns varied between sexes – with the females moving through twice as much space as males. Both genders tended stay within seaweed beds. Amanda also found that the seahorses engage in displays with opposite sex partners. Surprisingly, these seahorses “flirted” with more than one partner, breaking the assumption that seahorses are monogamous! Even though Amanda’s work made some interesting discoveries it also emphasized the fact that there is a lot more to learn about seahorses.  

Learn more about Hippocampus breviceps

IUCN Red List: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/10063/54904334

iSeahorse: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/38085462

Anotado en 03 de septiembre de 2020 a las 11:49 PM por projectseahorse projectseahorse | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

24 de septiembre de 2020

Protecting Giraffes - Giraffe seahorses that is - in Mozambique

By Ebba Hooft-Toomey

This proud Giraffe seahorse (Hippocampus camelopardalis) was observed in Mozambique by Dr. Louw Claassens (IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon Specialist Group Member), who then uploaded it here. While not much is known about Giraffe seahorses - they are classified as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List - we do know they are found in the coastal waters of southern and eastern Africa.  As seen in this photo, Giraffe seahorses live in estuarine seagrass beds, as well as algal beds and shallow reefs.

The grassroots organization ParCo recently investigated the fishing of seahorses in Mozambique. They found that the majority of seahorses are extracted for the Chinese Traditional Medicine trade, a common use of seahorses from around the world. However, fishing in Mozambique has a unique twist; many fishers use mosquito nets, which have a very fine mesh, to catch aquatic life.

Due to concerns about the seahorse trade, ParCo reached out to Project Seahorse for guidance a few years ago. Now ParCo has developed an inspiring seahorse protection program that focuses on four main agents of conservation in the region: research, education, enforcement, and tourism. First, with the help of Dr. Claassens, they set up a seahorse monitoring program in 2019 which continues to research and survey seahorse population in the area. Second, local fishers who are concerned about conservation help enforce rules by monitoring their peers. Finally, partnership with the Bahia Mar Hotel helps promote seahorse tourism as an alternate source of income for fishermen. The well-rounded approach of ParCo, founded on the idea of helping local communities “realize their vision for change” is a promising example of marine conservation in action.



For more information:

Hippocampus camelopardalis IUCN Red List listing: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/10064/100939136

Dr. Louw Claassens (IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon Specialist Group Member)

ParCo seahorse protection program

Anotado en 24 de septiembre de 2020 a las 03:13 PM por projectseahorse projectseahorse | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario