What is underwater monitoring?

To protect seahorses, we need to know where wild populations are, what threats they face, and whether they are growing or shrinking. We do this by tracking population trends over time.

Underwater surveys involve collecting data on seahorses underwater – typically while SCUBA diving or snorkelling. The surveys can be done as a standalone initiative or as part of ongoing work for other species.

Who can help?

You can! Anyone who sees a seahorse in the wild. You don’t need to be a scuba diver or a scientist to become a population monitor. It is possible to find and count seahorses while snorkelling or walking along the shore at low tide as well.

How do I get involved?

Get in touch. Tell us a little bit about yourself — where you’re based, your scientific background (if you have one), where and how often you’d like to do seahorse monitoring. Feel free to ask questions, too.

Download the iSeahorse Population Monitoring Toolkit (also available in Thai) and check out our how-to videos. The toolkit has everything you need to get started, including important technical information about choosing a survey site, surveying seahorse populations, identifying individual species, measuring for survey “effort,” and recording your data.

Check out our online training course (on Udemy). It is fun, quick, free, and full of important information about seahorse population monitoring.

Describe where you’ll be doing the monitoring in the underwater SITE datasheet. The videos show you how to choose a survey site and how to record survey site information.

While you’re diving, record your data in the underwater SURVEY Datasheet. The video shows you how to gather information about seahorses.

Please submit your survey data to iSeahorse using this spreadsheet. Send to iseahorse@projectseahorse.org.

We are happy to set up data use/sharing agreements appropriate to your situation – just get in touch!

How to videos

Interested in becoming a iSeahorse population trends monitor? We offer a fast, fun, and free online training course that will help you get started.

Course link – https://www.udemy.com/iseahorse-trends-underwater-monitoring

Through this course, you will learn how to monitor wild seahorses and their habitats and share your scientific data with iSeahorse.

The data you collect will enable researchers to track population status, reveal potential impacts from human activities, and discover new aspects of seahorse biology — pointing the way forward for conservation action.

Are you ready to get started? Register today!

Course objectives:

  • Learn how to find possible locations for seahorses
  • Understand how community scientists can contribute data for conservation and research
  • Identify different species of seahorses
  • Be able to collect data on seahorses and their habitat underwater and submit data to iSeahorse

Course length:

  • Seven lectures, 55 minutes in total

IMPORTANT: To ensure data accuracy, please make sure to read through all of the toolkit components before you start any seahorse surveys. Also note that the toolkit and supporting material are updated and expanded on a regular basis, so please check back for new versions, and contact us with any suggestions for improvement. We want to hear from you!

[Updated 22 February 2022]

[Updated 3 February 2022]