New seahorse species:Hippocampus nalu | UPSC

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New seahorse species:Hippocampus nalu


How an underwater photo led to the discovery of a tiny new seahorse species

      WHY IN NEWS:

Finding a species like Hippocampus nalu also shows how little we know about Africa’s marine biodiversity, and how much more is left to discover

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity : IUCN


For PRELIMS It is least important because information is incomplete at IUCN website . But make a note !


  Hippocampus nalu grows to a maximum size of just two centimetres.  


  • It is the first pygmy seahorse ever discovered in African waters.
  • Hippocampus nalu is physically and genetically distinct from the seven known species of pygmy seahorses.
  • Its nearest relatives are found more than 8,000 km away in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Seahorses are threatened all around the world.

  Many species are at risk of becoming extinct because of human activities such as bottom trawling, over-fishing, and habitat destruction.

  • As a result, several species are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • However, to date no pygmy seahorses are considered threatened — because we simply do not know enough about them.

Pygmy Seahorse IUCN Status UPSC

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • By discovering more species, and learning more about these tiny creatures, scientists can offer advice on how best to protect them.
  • Pygmy seahorses can also provide an important boost for tourism: scuba divers love these small species and are willing to travel far and wide for a chance to see them.
  • If coastal communities and scuba divers alike are taught about the best ways to protect these species and others in the oceans, there can be huge economic and social benefits.



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