A sedentary fish on the move: effects of displacement on long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus Cuvier) movement and habitat use
- 621 Downloads
To understand how a sedentary fish responds to displacement and identify key habitat characteristics for that fish, we translocated long-snouted seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus) within their natural habitat but far beyond their home range. After displacement, we located these small fish using acoustic technology and collected environmental data where we captured, released, and relocated them. Displaced fish (n = 9) moved much greater distances (max: 150 m; mean daily: 6.4–48.2 m) than expected from known home range movements and there was no evidence of homing. Seahorses varied in the specific environments they moved towards but tended to move towards environments more similar in both depth and water current speed to their original capture locations than their release locations.
KeywordsAcoustic telemetry Tagging Welfare Relocating Marine conservation Syngnathid
This is a contribution from Project Seahorse. This work was supported by funding from the Oceanario de Lisboa. IRC was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, IODE Canada, the Animal Behavior Society, and in-kind support from British Airways. We are grateful to VEMCO for their help and in-kind support with tagging equipment. Thank you to Karim Erzini and his lab for their help and in-kind support. The Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and in particular E. Marques provided invaluable support while in Portugal. Project Seahorse is supported by Guylian Chocolates (Belgium) and the John G. Shedd Aquarium, through partnerships in marine conservation. Field work would not have been possible without the help of M. Correia, J. Symons, B. McDonald, and J. Sziklay. S. Foster provided invaluable comments during analysis and writing that greatly improved the manuscript. The manuscript was further improved by comments from P. Molloy, S. Gergel, T. Sinclair, I. Côté, S. Hinch, J. Hehre, and four anonymous reviewers.
- Boisseau J (1967) Régulations hormonales de l’incubation chez un vertébré mâle: recherches sur la reproduction de l’Hippocampe. PhD Dissertation, Université de BordeauxGoogle Scholar
- Bray RN (1981) Influence of water currents and zooplankton densities on daily foraging movements of blacksmith, Chromis punctipinnis, a planktivorous reef fish. Fish Bull 78:829–842Google Scholar
- Cabin RJ, Mitchell RJ (2000) To Bonferroni or not to Bonferroni: when and how are the questions. Bull Ecol Soc Am 81:246–248Google Scholar
- Caldwell IR, Vincent ACJ (2012) Revisiting two sympatric seahorse species: apparent decline in the absence of exploitation. Aquat Conserv: Mar Freshwat Ecosyst. doi: 10.1002/aqc.2238
- Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2006) PRIMER v6: user manual/tutorial. PRIMER-E, PlymouthGoogle Scholar
- IUCN (2011) IUCN red list of threatened species. Version 2010.2. http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed 04 March 2011
- Lourie SA, Foster SJ, Cooper EWT, Vincent ACJ (2004) A guide to the identification of seahorses. Project Seahorse and TRAFFIC North America, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- Morgan SK (2008) The ontogenetic ecology and conservation of exploited tropical seahorses. PhD Dissertation. McGill UniversityGoogle Scholar
- Rosa IL, Oliveira TPR, Castro ALC, de Souza Moraes LE, Xavier JHA, Nottingham MC, Dias TLP, Bruto-Costa LVB, Araújo ME, Birolo AB, Mai ACG, Monteiro-Neto C (2007) Population characteristics, space use and habitat associations of the seahorse Hippocampus reidi (Teleostei: Syngnathidae). Neotrop Ichthyol 5:405–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sale PF (1991) The ecology of fishes on coral reefs. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Vandendriessche S, Messiaen M, Vincx M, Degraer S (2005) Juvenile Hippocampus guttulatus from a neuston tow at the French-Belgian border. Belg J Zool 135:101–102Google Scholar