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Rare Footage of Baby Seahorses Being Born at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: January 13, 2021 9:40 pm

whites seahorse sea life sydney

A baby white’s seahorse at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s nursery is full with over 100 endangered White’s seahorses. Each baby is smaller than a grain of rice and emerged from its fathers pouch in the final months of 2020.

The final few dozen were born just days before the start of the new year. This is a successful start to the second year of SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s breeding program for the White’s seahorse. This program is run in partnership with Fisheries NSW and the University of Technology Sydney.

Footage of a seahorse dad giving birth to its babies at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Video Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Staff at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium report that the babies are growing well and are strong. More excitingly they expect a number of additional babies to be born in the coming months.

“We have over 100 White’s Seahorse babies and are expecting more!” said Mitchell Brennan, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Aquarist and Seahorse Expert. “We took learnings from our first year of breeding and made changes to the facility, food source and their husbandry routine to develop a more streamlined and efficient program. We believe this may have contributed to such a positive start to the season.”

whites seahorse sea life sydney

Many of the seahorses born at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

This conservation program began in 2019 with a goal to restore the population of the White’s seahorse which has been declared endangered due to habitat loss. The program has three goals which are to repopulate the species in the wild, establish new habitats in Sydney Harbor and then return them to the wild.

Last year the program had its first success with 90 juveniles being born which were subsequently released at Clifton Gardens where they live in Seahorse Hotels which are artificial habitats. Since their release these seahorses have been monitored and the program noted a success with several of the released seahorses having paired and mated with wild individuals.

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As the conservation program progresses further into its second year, scientists and aquarium staff will build on last year and construct new upgraded Seahorse Hotels that will better facilitate the babies once they are introduced to the wild. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Fisheries NSW, and University of Technology Sydney will also work together to source two new locations for these hotels in Sydney Harbour.

Dr. David Harasti, Senior Marine Scientist with DPI Fisheries, who has over a decade of experience working with the White’s Seahorse said: “We are very pleased with the progress of this conservation program for Australia’s only endangered seahorse. Seeing captive released animals still alive in the wild 8 months after release and breeding with the local population is a fantastic initial result.”

David Booth, Professor of Marine Ecology at UTS is supervising Masters Research students on this project and added: “The project so far has been an amazing opportunity for our students to get hands on training in understating issue of ecology and conservation of these unique creatures.”

whites seahorse sea life sydney

A pregnant White’s seahorse

Photo Credit: SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Learn more about SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium on their website – SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium


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