Leafy Sea Dragons (Phycodurus eques) are so cool! These beauties are found along the southern and Western coast of Australia and like to live in rocky Seagrass beds as opposed to the colorful coral reefs on the Eastern coast. Named for their dragon-like appearance and long leaf-like appendages that unfurl around their body, they use their "leaves" to disappear or "camouflage" into their habitat, giving them the illusion of floating seaweed! Crafty little critters 💙
Considered a near threatened species, One of the largest threats they face is excessive fertilizer run-off and the pollution of seagrass and seaweed beds in Western Australia, which is the only place leafy sea dragons can survive in the wild! Today, they also are a target for illegal collectors who have stripped bare many areas in search of sea dragons to sell to the pet trade.
While it can be disheartening to hear the realities these beautiful animals face, what is happening right now can still be changed through advocating for what you love on social media, promoting #ecotourism in Australia, and supporting organizations like The Florida Aquarium who are dedicated to understanding the leafies breeding habits for protecting wild populations, and Oceana who advocates for higher water quality standards around the world!
We still have time to form sustainable habits as humans who share the planet, rather than consume it... so please use your voice when you can, it's powerful!!! Share with your friends if you agree. 🤗 Much ocean love friends!
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