Shallow Seas
Habitat monitoring

Project Staff

Jenny Selgrath
PhD Candidate
Mai Yasue
Research Associate
Phil Molloy
Research Associate

Habitat monitoring

Successful marine conservation depends on knowledge about the habitat needs of threatened species. Project Seahorse is undertaking a long-term study on the of recovery of degraded coral reefs and reef fish communities inside marine protected areas. The research is determining: i) rates and magnitude of community recovery within MPAs; ii) patterns of community succession within recovering MPAs; iii) effects of MPAs on reef diversity; and iv) patterns of community interactions within MPAs.

Decline of habitats like coral reefs is especially problematic in countries like the Philippines, where destructive fishing methods are commonly used. In 2006, we concluded two studies that assessed seahorse habitats in the Philippines, with the goal of providing information to aid the management of local species.

·         Improving techniques for long-term monitoring of seahorse population inside MPAs (Philippines)
·         Investigating the relationship between marine habitat quality and fisheries (Philippines)
·         Monitoring changes in habitat use in coastal communities (Philippines)
·         Frugal Conservation 
·         Photo quadrat study 


Program publications

Anticamara, J. A., D. Zeller, and A. C. J. Vincent (2010) Spatial and temporal variation of abundance, biomass and diversity within marine reserves in the Philippines. Diversity and Distributions 16(4):529-536. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2010.00661.x

Dearden, P., M. Theberge, and M. Yasué (2010) Using underwater cameras to assess the effects of snorkeler and SCUBA diver presence on coral reef fish abundance, family richness, and species composition. Environmental monitoring and assessment 163:531-538. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-009-0855-3

Molloy, P.P., J.A. Anticamara, J.L. Rist and A.C.J. Vincent. (2010). Frugal conservation: what does it take to detect changes in fish populations? Biological Conservation 143 (11):2532-2542. DOI: 10.1007/s11160-010-9167-5

Yasué, M., L. Kaufman and A.C.J. Vincent (2010) Assessing ecological changes in and around marine reserves using community perceptions and biological surveys. Aquatic Conservation: Marine & Freshwater Ecosystems 20(4):407-418 DOI: 10.1002/aqc.1090 

Marcus, J., M. Samoilys, J. Meeuwig, Z. Villongco and A.C.J. Vincent (2007) Benthic status of near-shore fishing grounds in the central Philippines and associated seahorse densities. Marine Pollution Bulletin 54:1483-1494 

Morgan, S.K. and A.C.J. Vincent (2007) The ontogeny of habitat associations in the tropical tiger tail seahorseHippocampus comes Cantor, 1850. Journal of Fish Biology 71(3):701-724