100 Tiny Endangered Seahorses Released into Sydney Harbor with High Hopes

100 Tiny Endangered Seahorses Released into Sydney Harbor with High Hopes

Australia continues to rehabilitate its populations of White’s seahorse, an “Australian icon” and the only such creature on the nation’s endangered list.

In May, GNN reported that hundreds of White’s seahorses were released into the waters north of Newcastle into specially-made “hotels” as part of the largest release of captive-bred seahorses in history.

Now, as part of another reintroduction, a tide pool north of Sydney Harbor in a place called Clontarf will become the latest release site for these tiny sea creatures.

The seahorses were bred at Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney, and the Aquarium’s curator Laura Simmons says the release is just one of several already done and several more planned for 2024.

Also known as the New Holland seahorse, these small animals display a number of very interesting characteristics, including ovoviviparous reproduction whereby the female creates the eggs and uses an ovipositor to place them in the male’s brood pouch where they are fertilized and carried until birth.

They also display strong fidelity and seasonal monogamous mating. Their population numbers have been in decline for years.

“We really want to reverse that trend and get them re-established,” Simmons told ABC News AU. “They’re our seahorses, this is an Australian icon.”

Simmons said this release at Clontarf is the sixth release this year, following up on previous successes at Chowder Bay in Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, and Little Manly Beach totaling over 400 individual seahorses.

Swimmers at Clontarf may be able to see the seahorses clinging to the habitat net in the tidal pool, but are encouraged not to disturb the animals.

This article by Andy Corbley was first published by The Good News Network on 28 December 2023. Lead Image: White’s seahorse released in Australia – Supplied to ABC News by Dr. David Harasti.

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