Dragon Search South Australia - good work by divers in 2019, 2020 and 2021

Hi divers,

Thank you for all your work in 2019, 2020, and so far in 2021, to populate this visual database with seadragon records. The photos are very helpful for identification of individual seadragons, and long term monitoring of seadragons across locations in South Australia.

We started the Dragon Search South Australia project page on iNaturalist in 2019, as expansion of the 2013- 2018 pilot project at Rapid Bay, in which we used facial, head and body markers to identify individual seadragons over time. That community based project with the SA diving community provided important information about seadragons, including longevity, breeding frequency, number of broods per season, site residency, and physical damage to seadragons (e.g. appendage loss) over time.

We now have 30 divers adding to this database, and expanding the geographical range of the sightings. Over time, we will be able to learn much more about seadragons in other parts of SA, at sites such as Rosetta Head / Bluff, Second Valley, and Edithburgh. Records are starting to come through from the western part of SA as well, and also from WA. The database will also enable us to keep monitoring the Rapid Bay jetty leafy population. We've recorded some of the same leafies at RBJ for 5 - 8 years so far. Hoping to show that these animals can live for more than 10 years in the wild, as they have done so in aquaria. Our project will also highlight some of the ongoing threatening processes for these unique animals. Now more than ever, we need to support seadragon populations and increase public awareness of their vulnerability.

Please keep adding your records to the project whenever you can, and thanks again for your valuable contributions to long term research and monitoring of these amazing fishes.

We <3 seadragons.

Posted by marinejanine marinejanine, April 13, 2021 03:06

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