It’s a pleasure to report some upbeat news: two species of seahorses have recently been confirmed as making their homes in the Thames in the UK. Starting in 2008, one or two seahorses a year would be found in the Thames, but it was unclear if they were outlier adventurers or signs of a new population. Now, however, the verdict is in: scientists have found six or seven this year, and since seahorses don’t travel very far in a year, it’s clear that they’re part of a resident population. Seahorses are very sensitive to pollution, so the news is also a welcome marker of a cleaner Thames.
This is especially happy news in a year in which this stunning, yet disturbing picture of a seahorse with its tail wrapped around a q-tip became a finalist in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in the “Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image” category. Congratulations to the Zoological Society of London, which first reported the news, and to their project, iSeahorse, for all their hard work on conserving seahorses.1