Monthly Archives

May 2013

Gorillas and Seahorses both need saving

By | The Seahorse Trust News | No Comments

Hippocampus Guttulatus Gorilla

Hippocampus Guttulatus Gorilla (or Hippy Gut for short) has been painted by Deborah Treliving, for the Great Gorilla project. Artists were invited to submit designs for the project, organised by Paignton Zoo to celebrate their 90th birthday in 2013 and provide funds to the Wildlife Conservation Society to support Cross River gorilla research and conservation as well as a local community project in South Devon. Deborah’s Gorilla has been sponsored by Cavanna Homes, who are also celebrating their 90th birthday this year.

Deborah wanted to make her gorilla relevant to Torbay. Seahorses, like the great gorillas are threatened worldwide. Torbay has a good population of two species of seahorses: the spiny seahorse and the short snouted seahorse.

Deborah explained: “This has been a great project giving me scope to do something different from my usual way of working. I have found seahorses fascinating creatures to draw. I hope that Hippocampus Guttulatus Gorilla will help to increase the awareness of Torbay’s seahorses”.

Hippocampus Guttulatus Gorilla will be part of the Gorilla Flotilla across Torbay on 23rd July.

When the trail is complete, gorillas will be on show at businesses, shops, offices, schools, colleges and public spaces across Torbay and Exeter. Hippocampus Guttulatus Gorilla will be sited at Living Coasts, Torquay from 3rd August.

After the event, the gorillas will be auctioned at a gala charity evening at the Palace Theatre in Paignton.

Deborah Treliving is a fine artist, painter and printmaker inspired by poetry and landscape. Her abstract work is recognised by richly textured and heavily embossed carborundum prints. A passion for colour is evident throughout her work, and her palette ranges from the strong and vibrant, to the delicate and subtle. She is a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Her work has been exhibited nationally, internationally, and in her studio in the stable yard at Cockington Court.

Further information:

D Treliving Gorilla

Lila and her sisters raise money for the trusts work

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What a fantastic team. Lila Blake and her sisters Phoebe and Thia and their friend made some great objects and seahorses out of Hama beads to sell to raise money for the work of The Seahorse Trust. Between them they raised an amazing £30 which will go towards our British Seahorse Survey work.

In recognition of her hard work we have sent Lila an adoption pack and she decided Peta would be her favourite Seahorse.

Peta – Black Foot Indian name meaning “Golden Eagle” was found in Torbay when she was a youngster and was caught in a shrimp net; she was floating around with a large swarm of shrimps, which we think she was eating. Because of the various types of habitats to be found in Torbay it has both species of Seahorse living there and another Seahorse was found a week later about 100 yards from Peta but it was a Spiny Seahorse called Francis.

Thank you to Lila and her team for their hard work.


First repeat sighting of a seahorse confirmed in Malta

By | The Seahorse Trust News | No Comments

Local dive guide and underwater photographer Pete Bullen has been observing seahorses when he happens across them in Malta for many years, through his sightings we can now confirm the first resighting of a female Spiny Seahorse. The small female (nicknamed ‘Milly’) who is in superb condition was first photographed by Pete when he happened across her in mid April 2013, recently he came across her again on his latest dive in mid-May and she was in a similar area to where she was originally found. Pete kindly sends any sightings of seahorses to The Seahorse Trust as we are building up the National Malta Seahorse Database and this is allowing us to get a picture of the seahorses and their behaviour around these amazing islands, in a similar way to the British Seahorse survey we run here in the UK.
The little female Milly has very distinctive spots on her head and by using photo ID techniques we have worked out this is exactly the same female in both sightings. Each seahorse has a ‘thumb print’ of markings on their head which is unique to each individual. The data we are gathering shows the movement and depths the seahorses use and spend time in and this information will be used to help protect seahorses into the future in Malta.
The exact location of a seahorse is never given out because it is important they are left in peace and quiet. In Malta, as it is in the UK, both seahorse species, the Spiny and the Short Snouted are fully protected under environmental laws, this is to ensure we have seahorses well into the future and the research work being undertaken in Malta is part of our information gathering to make sure there is a future for Seahorses.
If Pete happens across a seahorse during his dive, he will photograph it (without a flash) and note the location, depth, habitat and anything unusual about the seahorses or in the area. All this information is then sent to The Seahorse Trust so we can analyse it and add it to the database.
The British Seahorse Survey has been running since 1994 and is the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind in the world; it has over 750 sightings on the National Seahorse Database run by the trust and this database has been used to protect Seahorses throughout the UK. We have made some incredible discoveries about seahorses in the wild and learnt so much more about their behaviour in the wild. The Knowledge we have gathered through working on this survey is being used in Malta and we aim to give them a secure future as well.

M3 H.hippocampus Pete BullenM2b H.hippocampus Pete Bullen