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Wellness & Nature

Endangered Seahorses Have Returned To UK Waters As A Result Of Lockdown

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor

Seahorses

The spiny seahorses have been glimpsed in Dorset.

One of the rare upsides of the nationwide lockdown was the benefits it brought to our natural world. Whilst London saw a 50% fall in toxic air and a herd of deer which moved into the neighbourhood of Harold Hill, good news has been happening all over the country – and today, we bring you word from Studland Bay in Dorset, where a colony of endangered spiny seahorses has appeared as a result of the calmer, cleaner waters.

The seahorses hadn’t been spotted in the bay for two years, but on a survey dive last month, representatives of The Seahorse Trust noticed a colony of sixteen seahorses had set up camp there. It’s believed that fewer people on the beach and in the water, coupled with a reduction in boat traffic, has allowed to seagrass regenerate – which invited a return for the seahorses.

Spiny seahorses are one of only two native British seahorse species – the other being short-snouted seahorses – and Studland Bay is the only place in the UK where the two exist together. The area’s regeneration has been helped by the fact that Studland Bay became a protected Marine Conservation Zone in 2019, but lockdown appears to have hit fast-forward on the recovery of the seahorse population there. The hope now is that their resurgence can be sustained after the lockdown ends, to conserve a vital (and cute!) part of the British ecology.


Also published on Medium.