Estimating population parameters of longsnout seahorses, Hippocampus reidi (Teleostei: Syngnathidae) through mark-recapture

<div><p>ABSTRACT Estimating population parameters is essential for understanding the ecology of species, which ultimately helps to assess their conservation status. The seahorse Hippocampus reidi is directly exposed to anthropogenic threats along the Brazilian coast, but the species still figures as Data Deficient (DD) at IUCN’s Red List. To provide better information on the ecology of this species, we studied how population parameters vary over time in a natural subtropical environment. By combing mark-recapture models for open and closed populations, we estimated abundance, survival rate, emigration probability, and capture probability. We marked 111 individuals, which showed a 1:1 sex ratio, and an average size of 10.5 cm. The population showed high survival rate, low temporary emigration probability and variable capture probability and abundance. Our models considering relevant biological criteria illuminate the relatively poorly known population ecology and life history of seahorses. It is our hope that this study inspires the use of mark-recapture methods in other populations of H. reidi in a collective effort to properly assess their conservation status.</p></div>