Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 67–75 | Cite as

A sedentary fish on the move: effects of displacement on long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus Cuvier) movement and habitat use

  • Iain R. Caldwell
  • Amanda C. J. Vincent


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.


Acoustic 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Project Seahorse, Fisheries CentreThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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