Scientists are warning that seahorses could be at risk of extinction if something isn’t done soon.
In a research paper recently published in the scientific conservation journal Oryx, researchers for the first time looked at the extinction risk of 300 species of seahorses, pipefishes and seadragons, among others.
Up to 38% of these animals (known as “sygnathids“) could be at risk of extinction, the authors warn, but add that more research is needed.
According to the paper:
“Primary threats to syngnathids are (1) overexploitation, primarily by non-selective fisheries, for which most assessments were determined by criterion A (Hippocampus) and/or (2) habitat loss and degradation, for which assessments were determined by criterion B (Microphis and some Hippocampus). Threatened species occurred in most regions but more are found in East and South-east Asia and in South African estuaries. Vital conservation action for syngnathids, including constraining fisheries, particularly non-selective extraction, and habitat protection and rehabilitation, will benefit many other aquatic species.”
Read the full paper here.