The Studland Seahorse Tagging Project
Seahorses are very hard to study in the wild; at Studland Bay in Dorset England we have a unique chance to study individual Seahorses through our tagging project. The work of this project is feeding into the various authorities to allow certain areas in the UK to be protected and in the seahorses.
Initially 3 years but hopefully a minimum of 5 years
The Seahorse Trust
We are trying to study individual Seahorses in the wild to understand more about their seasonal movements, habitat preferences and the issues facing them.
The ecology of wild seahorses is little understood and by tagging individuals we can learn more about the secretive lives.
We need to know what they do throughout the year, where do they go how do they use their environment.
Seahorses are under threat mainly from human interference by understanding about them we can understand the problems.
The data we are collecting (the project has been running for just under 2 years now with up to 3 to go) is being fed into the various authorities who decide on the actions happening in various areas.
By contributing in this way not only can we influence the planning and management processes in these areas but we can also learn more about their ecology and feed this into the general knowledge of Seahorses worldwide, helping them not only in the Uk but others countries as well.
To understand the ecology and movements of wild Seahorses
Activities» We will tag individual Seahorses and follow them on a weekly basis. This information will be added to our database on British seahorses.
Success will be monitored by having a greater understanding of seahorses throughout the year and from year to year. We also aim to understand more about indivdual seahorses.
To feed the data we gather into management organistions for the protection of Seahorse habitat.
Activities» We will share our data with selected organisations, individuals and governmental bodies to ensure a better future for the Seahorses.
Success will be measured by the feedback and partnerships we form with others and how we can work together to look into the issues with Seahorses
Liase with various bodies to get them to change their behaviour so we can protect the habitat.
Activities» By using the media, one to one chats and public talks we will push our message across to others.
By interacting with individuals and groups we will be able to infuence changes gently and directly.
In 2008 The Seahorse Trust got both species of Seahorse protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act which was a direct result of the volunteer input we have.
We now need to build on this and ensure this legislation is effective and will benefit the Seahorses and their habitat.
The success of this will be the protecting of sensitive habitats for the Seahorses and the oher species that live there, not only benefiting Seahorses and their habitat but the human population as well.
Funding for the project is our biggest risk, if this work is not funded further there is a serious risk that the project will collapse and all the hard work of the trust and its volunteers will be wasted.
We are at a crucial stage of the project where we are partly through the data collection stage, where public opinion is changing for the positive and where we are influencing governmental bodes and local authrities.
Our work is extensively covered by all areas of the media, we also regualrly put out articles, scientific papers and reportes on our work via journals and our website. The website is used as a source of education, data, informationa nd as a reference tool for other researchers.
Budget - Project Cost: £38,438Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £28,000 Project Officer Project Officer salary and employers contribution £5,488 Office rent and costs Office costs for the project/trust including VAT, electricty (£500),Stationary (1,000), Tel (£400) £3,000 Travel Travel to and from the study site, diesel etc. £1,950 Divers air/equip Air (£450) and equipment (1500)for the divers on the study site
The main study site is at South Beach in Studland Bay in Dorset where there is an extensive seagrass meadow.
The Project / trust office is at Escot Park near Ottery St Mary in East Devonboth locations are vital to the success of the project.
The site is vital for data colection and liasing with the public and the trust office is vital to collate the data liase directly with the public and indirectly with the public and others via the phone and internet.
The natural heritage and its species will be the main beneficiaries for this project and the population of Dorset, and England will also be beneficiaries.
The local residents economically an socially are already benefitting from the publicity of having such a unique site on their doorstep.
All in all the environment, species, residents, volunteers on the project and visitors will all benefit from this much needed ground breaking project.
The Seahorse Trust is internationally reknowned for its work with Seahorses particularly the two native Seahorses. Although it is a small organisation we have put together and will deliver this much needed project.
We are an umbrella organisation who will work with others to produce the results this project require and make a difference to the fate of Seahorses and their known habitat.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Neil has over 30 years experience in working with Seahorses and is internationally known for his research and study work.
The trust is reliant and works with hundreds of volunteers each year; they bring a much needed aspect tp the project and an enthusiasm.