Penang Seahorse Survey

Universiti Sains Malaysia
Chicago, Illinois
DOI: 10.18258/3200
Raised of $400 Goal
Funded on 11/14/14
Successfully Funded
  • $405
  • 101%
  • Funded
    on 11/14/14

About This Project

Penang Seahorse Survey aims to determine the population diversity and distribution of seahorses in Penang island. The information collected will be used to better conserve this iconic creature in Malaysia. Follow our progress @

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What is the context of this research?

Despite their name, seahorses are fish belonging to the family Sygnathidae. In South East Asia, this species is exploited in large numbers for trade in traditional chinese medicine (TCM) and as aquarium pets. The IUCN Red List places almost all seahorses as vulnerable to extinction.

Although seahorse conservation work is currently carried out in Malaysia by the NGO Save Our Seahorses, almost nothing is known about the status of seahorses in Penang island.

What is the significance of this project?

Penang Seahorse Survey aims to ellucidate the status of this flagship species in the waters of Penang island. Due to its charismatic nature and the apparent odd characteristics, seahorses are often used as effective mascots for marine conservation.

By conducting the Penang Seahorse Survey, data will be collected regarding status of seahorses. With this information, proper conservation measures can be put in place to better protect the species from extinction. If found Penang waters is found to be rich with seahorse species, a long term monitoring program will be planned accordingly.

What are the goals of the project?

Penang Seahorse Survey aims to

a) Determine population density and species diversity of seahorses of Penang island

b) Describe a possible seahorse hotspot for a long term conservation programme

c) Contribute to the databasa

d) Provide literature for further studies of seahorses in Malaysia


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Penang Seahorse Survey is carried out as an honours thesis by the main investigator. Grants for research are very few and far between for undergraduate students especially in the field of conservation ecology. I'm seeking $400 to fund printed materials and fuel costs that will be used during the fishermen interviews. Funds will also be channelled to field sampling that will involve rental of SCUBA tanks and a boat.

Meet the Team

Quek Yew Aun
Quek Yew Aun

Team Bio

Yew Aun is a final year student from the Aquatic Biology programme in Universiti Sains Malaysia. His passion for all things marine was sparked (unabashedly) by images of the sea and life that is contained in it. A city boy at heart, documentaries of ocean life were often the medium that opened up worlds of wonder for him. And thus began a journey to conserve and protect.

Penang Seahorse Survey is his first attempt at full-blown research. On free days, he enjoys SCUBA diving, badminton and watching movies.

Additional Information

A dried seahorse collected during pre-survey

One of the targeted survey sites

Project Backers

  • 11Backers
  • 101%Funded
  • $405Total Donations
  • $36.82Average Donation
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