We are very lucky at our dive centre to back onto a river that runs between Koh Lanta Yai and Koh Lanta Noi. We offer dives from our pier in this river and over the last few years, have noticed that we seem to have a population of seahorses. After a few years of talking and planning, we have finally started a program to monitor these fascinating creatures.
So, why is it important to monitor seahorses? According to Project Seahorse:
Seahorses are a flagship species for a wide range of marine conservation issues. Many seahorse species are listed as threatened on the World Conservation Union’s IUCN Red List.
They inhabit a wide range of marine environments, including seagrasses, mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries and seaweeds. Declines in their population signify wider problems can could effect a wide range of other species.
We are using a tool devised by Project Seahorse called iSeahorse, which allows for the logging and identification of individuals. If there is any uncertainty about the exact species, this can be recorded as ‘unknown’ and scientists from the project will assist with identification.
We will provide updates on population numbers and species identified over the next few weeks.
Thanks to Marcelo Ogata for the photograph www.bugdreamer.com