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H. zosterae and ESA Listing

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  • Offline DanU
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H. zosterae and ESA Listing

« posted: 5 years ago »
My understanding was that the government would rule on this by July 3rd.  Still no word on whether or not they will be added to the Endangered Species Act or not.  While I disagree that they should be added I wish they would rule one way or the other as it has breeders such as us in a constant state of purgatory.

Dan
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: H. zosterae and ESA Listing

« Reply #1 posted: 5 years ago »
Funny you should say that - I've been wondering the same thing. I got some dwarf seahorses recently from a collector in hopes of having enough genetic diversity for a long term captive population should their status be changed, but they still allowed people to keep and sell them. As you have mentioned in the past, there isn't really precedent for how they'd handle a species actively kept as a pet if it was listed. So my hope was if they were listed as Endangered or Threatened, they'd let captive ones still be traded, or at least grandfather them in for those currently in possession.

But I've been feeling the same way, impatient that they haven't made up their minds or announced anything. Even if it was "We're still investigating things."

The collector I ordered from said he got the impression that they wouldn't be listed when he talked to a few fish and game people. But I don't know how reliable he is as a narrator, and he may have just heard what he wanted to hear. I guess he offered to collect and send them dwarf seahorses for free to release in areas where they were decimated because he could collect so many.  ???
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  • Offline DanU
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Re: H. zosterae and ESA Listing

« Reply #2 posted: 5 years ago »
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he offered to collect and send them dwarf seahorses for free to release in areas where they were decimated because he could collect so many.
This is what I don't get.  The population dependent upon the habitat.  If the habitat is protected so are the dwarfs and many other species which are just as important.  An example, after hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, the grass flats locally where wiped out.  You could hardly find anything much less H. zosterae.  It was this way for several months.  By the following summer, the grasses came back in and the population of H. zosterae did as well. 

Some of the areas that they are saying the populations are decimated are not areas known to have high populations to begin with.  Over or under populating any species changes the eco system and nature will try to balance it back out.

Dan

Dan
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  • Offline TamiW
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Re: H. zosterae and ESA Listing

« Reply #3 posted: 5 years ago »
Well that is exactly it... without sufficient habitat protection, the proposed listing won't do squat. And since manatees have been on the endangered species list and rely on the same habitat that dwarf seahorses live*, and it hasn't stopped the type of habitat destruction listing the dwarf seahorses is supposed to, I don't see what is supposed to be accomplished.

That, and before the petition to list them as endangered, it was my understanding that research groups had found that dwarf seahorses were actually surprisingly abundant.

I do wonder how it will play out. My instinct is that they won't be listed because their trade is already regulated, and there isn't evidence to support the need for further protection. But part of me thinks they might be because it's good PR. They have very little commercial value so only a small number of people will be affected. But it looks good on the resume.




*Which got me thinking, I wonder how many seahorses manatees eat incidentally. I know, it's a terrible thought, but I've been wondering about it since that realization.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
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  • Offline DanU
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Re: H. zosterae and ESA Listing

« Reply #4 posted: 5 years ago »
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*Which got me thinking, I wonder how many seahorses manatees eat incidentally. I know, it's a terrible thought, but I've been wondering about it since that realization.

I don't know.  If they just eat the seagrass probably not that many but if they eat the macro algaes as well probably quite a bit more.  In our area at least, when I am looking for H. zosterae, I find most of the them in the thickest macro algaes almost like a serrated brown version of chaeto.  This probably helps protect them from predation.  I rarely find any on the Zosterae grass.  They are very open to predation on it.

Dan
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