Hippocampus camelopardalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Syngnathiformes Syngnathidae

Scientific Name: Hippocampus camelopardalis Bianconi, 1854
Common Name(s):
English Giraffe Seahorse
French Cheval de mer, Hippocampe
Hippocampus subcoronatus Günther,1867
Taxonomic Source(s): Bianconi, G. G. 1854. Specimina zoologica mosambicana, Fasciculus VIII: Pisces novi Mozambicani. Rendiconto delle Sessioni dell'Accademia delle Scienze dell'Instituto dei Bologna 1853-1854: 68-69.
Taxonomic Notes: References to H. whitei off the east coast of Africa should be H. camelopardalis. Genetic data indicate that this species is distinct from H. whitei in Australia (S. Casey in litt. to Lourie et al. 1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Project Seahorse
Reviewer(s): Marsden, A.D., Foster, S.J. & Vincent, A.C.J. (Syngnathid Red List Authority)
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 camelopardalis previously was listed in 1996 as Vulnerable (VU A2cd) under old criteria. This assessment was based on suspected past declines in occupancy, occurrence and habitat, as well as on potential levels of exploitation. In reassessing the species under the new criteria and with greater taxonomic understanding we find that no appropriate data on biology and ecology, habitat, abundance or distribution are available for this species. Further research is needed. Assessed as Data Deficient under the new criteria.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Mozambique; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species may be particularly susceptible to decline. 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 a. 1999). The importance of life history parameters in determining response to exploitation has been demonstrated for a number of species (Jennings et al. 1998).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hippocampus camelopardalis is caught for traditional medicines, curiosities, and aquaria in Tanzania, but not elsewhere in its range (J. McPherson, unpublished data). A few traders interviewed during trade surveys conducted by Project Seahorse between 2000–2001 noticed local declines in seahorse populations over the last 10–30 years, but most had noticed no change (J. McPherson, unpublished data). The authors conclude that the trade: (1) probably poses no danger to seahorses in Kenya; (2) may be a cause for concern in Tanzania; and (3) is insufficiently known to draw conclusions in South Africa or Mozambique.

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 camelopardalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T10064A3158705. . Downloaded on 25 November 2017.
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