Five Endangered Ocean Animals that I Have Seen in the Wild
28th edition of Marine Life monthly post. Marine Life post published every 19th of the month. It aims to share information on marine life species and to promote their conservation. All images and video in this post are taken by Indah Susanti unless stated otherwise.
Today is Endangered Species Day, a day to remind us of the endangered species, be it animals or plants. The main interest to preserve the endangered is because no man is an island. The earth connects us in a circle of life, that losing a tiny plant species could affect to other species’ life existence or expectancy. Mongabay published an interesting story about the importance of protecting the vultures from extinction. How is it possible the vultures contribute to the humans in the long run? You can read it in this post: Why Should I Care about Endangered Species?
For the love of the ocean, I have been diving several seas around the world and I was lucky to see some endangered marine animals in the wild. Following five endangered marine animals that I have seen in the wild when I was scuba diving and lucky enough to be able to take their pictures…
I saw the fish for the first time and perhaps the last time when scuba diving in Sulawesi (Indonesia). Back then I did not even know the fish is in endangered status. The fish is small reef fish endemic to the Banggai Islands off Sulawesi, Indonesia (IUCN). The threats to the fish are ecosystem degradation in Sulawesi such as cyanide fishing and dynamite fishing. As an Indonesian, I am not proud of these fishing actions either.
I love seeing the turtles when scuba diving. Turtles are migratory animals and we can see them in many places around the world. I met them mostly when diving in Indonesia and the Philippines. Unfortunately, their life in the ocean is under threat. The Green sea turtle is listed as endangered meanwhile the Hawksbill turtle is considered critically endangered near to extinct. One of their threats is the development of the coastal area. Beaches area is their primary location for nesting. In addition to that, they are often trapped in humans’ trawl nets and fishing gillnets.
Our dive master was super excited after we finished our night diving in Malapascua (the Philippines). He asked me to show the seahorse pictures, he claimed one of them must be the Tiger Tail seahorse. It was rare to see them in the wild. I have also seen the Thorny seahorse when scuba diving in Indonesia. Both seahorses are listed as vulnerable by IUCN Redlist with a prediction that its population will decrease up to 50 percent. The vulnerable status of the seahorse placed the seahorse as protected animal in CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
I have been diving with several shark species like Thresher Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Black/White Tip Sharks and Epaulette Sharks. There are a numerous number of sharks species listed as endangered while the rest of the species are listed vulnerable that could lead to endangered status. The major threat to the sharks is humans’ consumption of its fins.
The ocean’s largest fish, the whale shark, was surprisingly a gentle giant fish. I was snorkeling with them in Moalboal (the Philippines) and I can’t get enough of it! The whale sharks are not dangerous to humans. As a migratory animal, the whale shark can be seen in many parts of the world. The whale shark is listed as endangered animal by IUCN Redlist. The threats are varied from oil and gas drilling to human disturbance (recreational purposes). More information about the whale sharks, please visit my previous post: The Whale Sharks and Oslob’s Controversy.
My sincere wish that they will stay exist for our future generation, to see these beautiful animals in the wild and to enjoy their beauty. Let’s keep our planet blue!