WASHINGTON (CN) – The one-inch long dwarf seahorse may be threatened with extinction by lingering pollution from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, loss of habitat and overzealous collectors, according to a finding by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The USFWS now will begin a 12-month status review to determine if listing the species under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.
The Center for Biological Diversity’s listing petition claims that 90 percent of the seagrass habitat off the coast of Florida has been lost since 1950.
It also cited massive die-offs of seagrass and seahorses across the Gulf Coast due to ocean acidification from global warming and the damage caused by boat propellers and shrimp trawlers.
The public has until July 3 to comment on the USFWS 90-day finding on the petition. The USFWS will announce a public comment period for the species review at a later date.