All seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) are listed on Appendix II of CITES, effective as of May 2004, limiting and regulating their international trade (2). Australian populations of pygmy seahorses are listed under the Australian Wildlife Protection Act, so that export permits are now required, although they are only granted for approved management plans or captive-bred animals. With such limited data available on this fascinating animal, there is an urgent need for further research to be conducted on its biology, ecology, habitat, abundance and distribution, before its status can be properly assessed and conservation measures implemented accordingly (1). The remarkably effective camouflage of this astonishing species may make such surveys particularly challenging, but hopefully it will also help protect it from exploitation, keeping it safe and hidden in the Pacific reefs where it belongs.
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