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A Note on the Status of Indigenous Species of Sea Horse

  • Neil Maidment-Garrick (a1)

The status of the two indigenous species of sea horse, the British sea horse (spiny sea horse) (Hippocampus ramulosus) and the European sea horse (short snouted sea horse) (Hippocampus hippocampus) are not exactly known. The British Sea Horse Survey has been set out to identify sites and populations around the British Isles.

The native British sea horses Hippocampus ramulosus Leach and Hippocampus hippocampus Linnaeus are thought to be facing an uncertain future but not from collecting as in tropical species used in the Chinese medicine trade, but from direct interference with their habitat. It was therefore proposed that a survey be carried out to find the extent of their ranges and populations and whether they required protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

In the description of the two species for the survey it was decided to use size and presence or absence of appendages on the dorsal region to identify species. Relative snout to head ratios were not used as it was felt that this had to be discouraged as it would have meant handling the animals and the subsequent stress involved was not acceptable to an animal that is easily stressed.

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Garrick-Maidment, N., 1997. British Seahorse Survey Report February 1997. Seahorse Nature Aquarium Publication.
Vincent, A.C., 1997. Seahorses. TRAFFIC report seahorse trade. WWF Publication.
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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