The endangered spiny seahorse was recently found in Dorset, its stronghold during the coronavirus lockdown. Around 16 seahorses including pregnant males and baby born this month was spotted at Studland Bay by the Seahorse Trust. Until now, no seahorses had been seen during dives since 2018, other than a dead one. This is the first time the largest number of protected spiny seahorses were seen in the seagrass meadows off Dorset since 2008, the Seahorse Trust has said. Animals are reclaiming the world across continents as lockdown continues. With reduced human activity, animals and birds are increasingly ventured out to the world. Animals Are Reclaiming the World Series: Peacocks Cause Beautiful ‘Traffic Jam’ on the Road As Humans Stay Indoors, Watch Video.
The lockdown has played a major role in the return of the yellow-coloured seahorses. Trust founder Neil Garrick-Maidment said that the increase was due to reduction in people, boat traffic and anchors. He said, "The ecology of the site has made a remarkable recovery. We have seen so many seahorses because the food chain has recovered, giving seahorses plenty of food to eat, and crucially, somewhere to hide. The seagrass has started to repair itself, and the spiny seahorses have taken advantage of this." Watch the video here. Both species of the seahorses, spiny and the short-snouted were granted protected status in 2008 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Animals Reclaiming The Earth: 13 Instances of Animals and Birds Roaming Freely During Coronavirus Lockdown From Around The World.
Seahorses Spotted at Dorset Coast in the UK:
After years of campaigning, Studland Bay was designated as a Marine Conservation Zone last year in recognition of the importance of its seagrass habitat and seahorse population. Garrick-Maidment said, "The 16 seahorses discovered on a single dive are an amazing discovery, but we now need the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Natural England to enforce the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Marine Conservation Zone and put in place measures such as environmentally friendly moorings." Last year, 74 specimens of the UK's spiny and short-snouted species were recorded off the UK coast and this year 35 have been spotted.