Save endangered seahorses with your smartphone

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

leafy seahorse
The leafy seahorse is a perfect example of how different all the seahorse species can appear.

Gallop forward with the iSeahorse project to save endangered seahorses! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a scientist, diver, casual seahorse lover, or just plain looking for something fun to do, the iSeahorse community wants you to join.

Your photos, videos, and observations of seahorses in their natural environment will help experts around the world understand these squishy armored creatures better, and maybe even save them from extinction.

These fascinating animals are very unique, because they’re one of the only fish species with a neck, and the males (not the females!) are the ones that give birth to the babies. Sadly, the little water horsies are on the World Conservation Union’s threatened species list, because humans have destroyed many of their homes through fishing and pollution.

And, when they aren’t being snatched up for aquarium stores or losing their beloved coral reefs, the poor dears are often caught in shrimp fishing nets or sold for use in traditional Chinese medicine!

Now, scientists aren’t even totally sure how many different seahorse populations are under threat, which is where all you eager citizen scientists come into the picture! Heather Koldewey, head of global conservation programs at the Zoological Society of London, says, “Now we need to pinpoint populations and places that most need conservation action.”

Featured image courtesy of Brian Gratwicke on Flickr. Image of leafy seahorse courtesy of Ed Bierman on Flickr