Seahorses in Ria Formosa

Seahorses are unique amazing beings. Within their characteristics, incomparable in the remaining animal kingdom, is their peculiar body – in fish in vertical position, which makes it one of the slowest among fish community. But this is just one of many fascinating characteristics of these sea creatures, another one is linked to their reproductive biology since it is the males who incubate the eggs.

Ria Formosa is an ideal location for slow swimming sea creatures for its sheltered waters and extent seagrass meadows. This habitat a source of shelter and food, thereby holding perfect natural conditions for the specie’s wellbeing. This is why it hosts an important seahorse community with high density. There are two known species in the area, the Long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus) and the Short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus). However, the population seems to be declining in the last decade, probably due to human activities disturbances and seagrass decline in the area.

Bioinsight was part of a monitoring plan and seahorse relocation actions, in order to minimize impacts from a project in this community.

Take a look at the video, shooted by Diogo Paulo (from UA and CCMAR), with some individuals of this amazing community in their natural habitat.

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