National Threatened Species Day – Weedy Seadragon
7 September 2021
The Unico Conservation Foundation has a commitment to bringing back from the brink of extinction some of the world’s most unique marine animals by supporting conservation projects such as Melbourne Down Under and its flagship species the threatened Weedy Seadragon. This community education and awareness campaign have engaged and created resources for local communities, marine communicators and teachers.
The content and documentary have been showcased on national networks and secured over $5 million in free media coverage to media platforms all around the world.
Key insights about Weedy Seadragons
- Seadragons hide in plain sight – mimicking floating seaweed swaying in the push and pull of the tides.
- Weed-like appendages along their elegant bodies help them to disappear into the seaweed, where safely camouflaged they can feed at leisure on small shrimp using their long straw-like mouth.
- The armour-plated skeleton of this fairytale-like fish also protects it from becoming a meal for other potential predators.
- What it can’t protect itself from is its fast-disappearing habitat.
- This giant kelp forest is one of only 5% remaining in Tasmania.
- The powerful Eastern Australian Current that runs down Tasmania’s Eastern coastline is pushing down increasingly warmer waters, far less rich in nutrients.
- This heat stresses the giant kelp, and the nutrient depleted water starves it. This combination is lethal.
The good news
The good news is the Unico Conservation Foundation is proactively working to help protect not only threatened species like the Weedy Seadragon, but the habitats which it calls home through a range of education initiatives including Melbourne Down Under.
To find out more about the fabulous work the Unico Conservation Foundation is doing visit unicoconservationfoundation.org.au.