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Hippocampus borboniensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII SYNGNATHIFORMES SYNGNATHIDAE

Scientific Name: Hippocampus borboniensis
Species Authority: Duméril, 1870
Common Name(s):
English Réunion Seahorse

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Annotations:
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Project Seahorse
Reviewer(s): Foster, S.J., Marsden, A.D. & Vincent, A.C.J. (Syngnathid Red List Authority)
Justification:
There are no published data about population trends or total numbers of mature animals for this species. There is very little available information about its extent of occurrence or its area of occupancy. There have been no quantitative analyses examining the probability of extinction of this species. As a result, the assessors have insufficient data to properly assess the species against any of the IUCN criteria.

Hippocampus borboniensis previously was listed in 1996 as VU A2cd under the 1994 criteria. That assessment was based on suspected past declines in occupancy, occurrence and habitat, as well as on potential levels of exploitation. In reassessing the species with greater taxonomic understanding and under the new criteria we find no appropriate data on biology and ecology, habitat, abundance and distribution are available for this species. Further research is needed. Assessed as DD under the new criteria.
History:
1996 Vulnerable (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Known from the eastern Indian Ocean around East Africa and Madagascar. Genetic research suggests that this species may be part of the kuda complex (S. Casey, in litt. in Lourie et al. 1999). Further research is required.
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar; Mauritius; Mozambique; Réunion; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – western
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species may be particularly susceptible to decline. The limited information on habitat suggests they inhabit shallow sea-grass beds (A. Holley, pers. comm. in Lourie et al. 1999) that are susceptible to human degradation, as well as making them susceptible to being caught as bycatch. All seahorse species have vital parental care, and many species studied to date have high site fidelity (Perante et al. 2002, Vincent et al. in review), highly structured social behaviour (Vincent and Sadler 1995), and relatively sparse distributions (Lourie et al. 1999). The importance of life history parameters in determining response to exploitation has been demonstrated for a number of species (Jennings et al. 1998).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hippocampus borboniensis is found in the traditional medicine and curios trades (Vincent and Perry in prep.), however, the numbers of animals traded are unknown. Its habitat may also be threatened by degradation – the Mauritius and La Reunion coral reefs are being degraded by sedimentation and nutrient pollution (Bryant et al. 1998, Cuet et al. 1988, Naim 1993).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The entire genus Hippocampus was listed in Appendix II of CITES in November 2002. Implementation of this listing will begin May 2004. A permit or license is required to export dried or live syngnathids from South Africa. Further research on this species biology, ecology, habitat, abundance and distribution is needed.

Citation: Project Seahorse 2003. Hippocampus borboniensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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