Leafy Sea Dragon

10" x 5" $200 (1 left)
Edition of 7, 2003
Printed on white Yatsuo paper

Leafy sea dragons are native to the cool waters of Southern Australia. Their leaf-like fins and extravagant appendages create a unique camouflage that allows them to perfectly blend in with lush green kelp forests and softly swaying seagrass. These incredible chameleons, like all seahorses, are members of the syngnathidae family, or fish with tube-snouted mouths and bony plates covering their bodies. Unfortunately, the beauty and majesty of these creatures make them prime targets of the aquarium trade, where whole areas are stripped bare of sea dragons to be sold illegally on the black market. Special export permits are required to display sea dragons, and only a handful of zoos and aquariums around the world exhibit them. By far the greatest threat to those in the seahorse family is the Asian medicine trade, where the powder from dried and ground up seahorse is believed to enhance virility, cure asthma, lower cholesterol, and perform a number of other medicinal feats. As a result, many seahorse populations have seriously declined. Thanks to a U.S. proposal in 2002, seahorses were listed and their trade restricted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Information provided by The Ocean Conservancy. To learn more about its work advocating for wild, healthy oceans, please visit www.oceanconservancy.org

Leafy Sea Dragon