Since 2005, Dr David Harasti has been undertaking various research projects on the White’s Seahorse (Hippocampus whitei) in eastern Australia.
This has involved collaboration with researchers and students from universities such as University of British Columbia, Sydney University, University of Technology – Sydney and University of NSW. Research has focused on various components including life history and population parameters, management of artificial habitats to benefit seahorses, habitat use and movements, impacts of flash photography, effects of predation within no-take marine protected areas and environmental correlates within seagrass meadows. More recently, research has focused on the impacts of habitat loss on this endangered species, particularly in relation to the loss of natural habitats that caused localised population declines that has led to the species being listed as Endangered. Current research being undertaken is assessing the viability of artificial habitats, known as ‘Seahorse Hotels’, to help recolonise Hippocampus whitei populations in areas where natural habitats are lost. Dr Harasti and his colleagues have published 9 scientific papers on Hipppocampus whitei since 2009.
Banner image of longtail seamoth (Pegasus volitans) by Richard Smith/oceanrealmimages.com