How the Crowd is Riding to the Rescue of Sea Horses

October 30, 2013 By IdeaConnection

411px-HippocampusThe sea horse is yet another marine animal that’s heading into troubled waters. They are under threat from overfishing, habitat loss and use in traditional medicine and home aquariums.

Today, many species of seahorses are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

However, it’s not all bad news. An international crowdsourcing project called iSeahorse is allowing people to help improve our understanding of these animals, knowledge that will be used to protect them against multiple threats.

The free iSeahorse app is for anyone who sees seahorses in the wild such as divers, scientists, fishers and natural history enthusiasts.

How You Can Help

There are two principle ways of getting involved. The first is to record sea horse sightings and upload photos. This will help researchers track and identify them and understand more about their behaviour.

Members of the crowd can also immerse themselves more deeply by downloading an online toolkit to input survey data.

Participants are also being encouraged to advocate for seahorses.

Implementing Long-Term Solutions

Ultimately, the scientists behind iSeahorse want to be able to establish long-term monitoring sites and use the data to elucidate any significant trends.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Charles Knapp, Ph.D. discusses the impacts the program is already making.

In Southeast Asia a postdoctoral researcher is acting with government agencies and communities to establish long-term field research sites using in part data from iSeahorse

To download the app, click here.

To find out more about iSeahorse and crowdsourcing, visit the project’s website.

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