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Seahorse Tagging Project, Studland Bay, Dorset, UK

  • N. Garrick-Maidment (a1), S. Trewhella (a2), J. Hatcher (a2), K.J. Collins (a3) and J.J. Mallinson (a3)...

Studland Bay contains an extensive seagrass (Zostera marina) bed and two species of seahorse: spiny (Hippocampus guttulatus) and short snouted (H. hippocampus). All are protected under UK and international legislation. Five H. guttulatus have been tagged and all re-sighted several times within the seagrass bed. Home ranges of 30–400m2 were found. The three tagged males have all been observed to be pregnant throughout the summer months suggesting up to five broods per year. On one occasion the courtship display was recorded. This study has demonstrated the value of volunteer divers in monitoring which would not have been so successful without them. This project arose from concerns over negative impacts of boat anchoring and mooring on the seagrass habitat. It is hoped that the insights gained into site fidelity, territory size and breeding ecology of the seahorses will contribute to management plans for this unique site.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: N. Garrick-Maidment, The Seahorse Trust St Mary, Escot Park, Ottery, Honiton, Devon EX11 1LU, UK email:
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Marine Biodiversity Records
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1755-2672
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