08 November 2008

Seahorses in Johor under threat

A bleak future for the seahorse colony at Sungai Pulai estuary near Gelang Patah: "While there were between eight and 10 seahorses spotted off Pulau Merambong, near the estuary, in March and April, only five were spotted last month." said the The Johor Malaysia Nature Society based on data provided by the Save Our Seahorses (SOS).
Seahorse (Hippocampus sp.)
This seahorse was seen at Tuas in Apr 08 as part of TeamSeagrass monitoring in Singapore. Tuas is just opposite the Sungai Pulai area which lies across the Johor Straits.

Pulau Merambong is a 0.3ha island situated 3km from Tanjung Kupang in Gelang Patah. More about Pulau Merambong on the wildfilms blog.

The estuary of Sungai Pulai is a 9,000ha area of mangroves and riverines, with 24 different species of trees.

But the area is slowly being destroyed, largely due to the development taking place on the banks of the Tebrau Straits, thus endangering the seahorses' marine habitat.

"So far, we have identified nitrogenous effluent as one of the pollutants and this may affect the population of seahorses downstream. The nitrogen is believed to be from the waste of oil palm estates which border the estuary."

SOS head and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu marine biology lecturer Choo Chee Kuang said that development around the estuary had destroyed large tracts of seagrass beds, which were home to the seahorses.

Full article on the wildsingapore news blog.

More about Save our Seahorses on their website: http://www.sosmalaysia.org/

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