Recently, over 350 White’s Seahorses were released beneath the surface of Sydney’s harbour where they make themselves at home in their seahorse hotels.
About White’s Seahorse:
- It is commonly seen holding onto the nets of swimming enclosures.
- The species was named after John White, Surgeon General to the First Fleet.
- Seahorses are often considered a flagship species for conservation.
- Male seahorses can be recognised by the presence of a pouch below the abdomen which is absent in females.
- It is usually very well camouflaged in various shades of brown, grey and black.
- These are endemic to Australia.
- It occurs in depths down to about 25 m in temperate marine waters along the south-eastern and south-western coasts of Australia. It is common in Sydney Harbour.
- Breeding behaviours
- The reproduction of seahorses is truly remarkable.
- The male seahorse has a pouch (a marsupium) into which the female seahorse lays her eggs.
- In White's Seahorse, the male fertilises the eggs and cares for them for about three weeks.
- Threat: The primary cause for the decline in abundance of White’s Seahorse is the loss of natural habitats across their range in eastern Australia.
- Conservation Status:
- IUCN: Endangered
Q1) What is the flagship species?
The concept of flagship species is widely used in conservation biology and environmental advocacy to raise awareness about broader conservation issues, habitat protection, and the importance of biodiversity.