2000+ observations on iSeahorse !

Hippocampus bargibanti, Bargibant’s pygmy seahorse. Photo by iSeahorse user sorcrs.

Hippocampus bargibanti, Bargibant’s pygmy seahorse. Photo by iSeahorse user sorcrs.

Great news!!  This summer we reached our 2000th seahorse observation on iSeahorse  - our pioneering citizen science website and smartphone app that allows anyone to contribute to the science and conservation of seahorses.

Observation 2000 is one of Hippocampus bargibanti, Bargibant’s pygmy seahorse. It comes to us from one of the hotspots for iSeahorse contributions, the northeastern tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Posted by iSeahorse user sorcrs, it’s a great shot of the pygmy seahorse on its obligate host gorgonian coral.

As we surpass 2000 seahorse observations, we look back at what our citizen science program has accomplished so far. Since launching in late 2013, iSeahorse and the contributing users have generated a great deal of new knowledge about seahorses and engaged people worldwide with marine conservation. iSeahorse has now accumulated data for 36 of 41 seahorse species, while engaging some 428 unique observers, many of whom have contributed multiple observations.  User-contributed observations on iSeahorse have greatly expanded the known ranges of several seahorses, including an expansion of several hundred kilometres for Hippocampus sindonis, 1000 km for Hippocampus comes, and a huge expansion of more than 4000 km for Hippocampus pontohi. We are also learning much about the depth ranges and habitat preferences of all the species observed, which will contribute to conservation planning efforts in the near future.

Most importantly, we hope that iSeahorse has helped to instill a sense of wonder and compassion for the health of wild seahorses and their ocean homes that are so critical to our planetary well-being. None of what we’ve learned so far would have been possible without our contributors, so many thanks to everyone who posted one of our more than 2000 observations to date.