Global assessments alone just aren’t enough, Part 2
We (the IUCN SSC Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon Specialist Group) wanted to know the conservation status of seahorses, pipefishes and seadragons (syngnathids) at the national level and what, if any, national regulations exist to protect them? To this end, we spent weeks scouring literature, websites and government documents to determine which countries had assessed the conservation status of syngnathids at the national level.
We first turned to the extremely useful, National Red List website and database which compiles all available information on the national conservation status of species.
Next, we asked our Specialist Group members and other seahorse experts around the world to help us source information on national conservation assessments and legislation/regulations for syngnathids in their country.
All other information was gathered by scouring the available literature, websites and documents to find everything and anything. This was not an easy task. It was challenging to find information on syngnathid-specific regulation/legislation, especially when searching online. Many government websites performed poorly (e.g. broken links, outdated information) and/or were difficult to translate.
Despite these challenges in obtaining this information, we were able to start creating a picture of what is going on in the world of syngnathids.
While this was a huge undertaking, it was an extremely worthwhile research project. We learnt a great deal about the status of national conservation assessments and the regulations in place to protect syngnathids. We were able to identify major gaps where more action needs to be taken to ensure that all syngnathids are assessed and where more regulations and monitoring efforts need to be put in place. Our aim is to create a living document where more information can be added as it becomes available to help inform future conservation actions and priorities. Our job is not done, far from it, but we have created an important stepping stone to expand our knowledge. And this is how many research projects carry on to form a life on their own.
View the full report here:
Stanton, L.M., Foster, S.J. & A.C.J.Vincent (2021) Identifying national conservation status, legislation and priorities for syngnathid fishes globally. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 29(2) 43pp.