Forest

Habitats

Forest

  • 1.1. Boreal
  • 1.2. Subarctic
  • 1.3. Subantarctic
  • 1.4. Temperate
  • 1.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
  • 1.6. Subtropical/tropical moist lowland
  • 1.7. Subtropical/tropical mangrove vegetation above high tide level
  • 1.8. Subtropical/tropical swamp
  • 1.9. Subtropical/tropical moist montane

 

Forest Animals

North America

Continents

North America

 

North American Animals

Savanna

Habitats

Savanna

  • 2.1. Dry
  • 2.2. Moist

 

Savanna Animals

Europe

Continents

Europe

 

European Animals

Asia

Continents

Asia

 

Asian Animals

Shrubland

Habitats

Shrubland

  • 3.1. Subarctic
  • 3.2. Subantarctic
  • 3.3. Boreal
  • 3.4. Temperate
  • 3.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
  • 3.6. Subtropical/tropical moist
  • 3.7. Subtropical/tropical high altitude
  • 3.8. Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation

 

Shrubland Animals

Grassland

Habitats

Grassland

  • 4.1. Tundra
  • 4.2. Subarctic
  • 4.3. Subantarctic
  • 4.4. Temperate
  • 4.5. Subtropical/tropical dry
  • 4.6. Subtropical/tropical seasonally wet/flooded
  • 4.7. Subtropical/tropical high altitude

 

Grassland Animals

South America

Continents

South America

 

South American Animals

Wetlands

Habitats

Wetlands (Inland)

  • 5.1. Permanent rivers/streams/creeks (includes waterfalls)
  • 5.2. Seasonal/intermittent/irregular rivers/streams/creeks
  • 5.3. Shrub dominated wetlands
  • 5.4. Bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, peatlands
  • 5.5. Permanent freshwater lakes (over 8 ha)
  • 5.6. Seasonal/intermittent freshwater lakes (over 8 ha)
  • 5.7. Permanent freshwater marshes/pools (under 8 ha)
  • 5.8. Seasonal/intermittent freshwater marshes/pools (under 8 ha)
  • 5.9. Freshwater springs and oases
  • 5.10. Tundra wetlands (inc. pools and temporary waters from snowmelt)
  • 5.11. Alpine wetlands (inc. temporary waters from snowmelt)
  • 5.12. Geothermal wetlands
  • 5.13. Permanent inland deltas
  • 5.14. Permanent saline, brackish or alkaline lakes
  • 5.15. Seasonal/intermittent saline, brackish or alkaline lakes and flats
  • 5.16. Permanent saline, brackish or alkaline marshes/pools
  • 5.17. Seasonal/intermittent saline, brackish or alkaline marshes/pools
  • 5.18. Karst and other subterranean hydrological systems (inland)

 

Wetland Animals

Africa

Continents

Africa

 

African Animals

Rocky

Habitats

Rocky

  • Inland Cliffs
  • Mountain Peaks

 

Rocky Area Animals

Australia

Continents

Australia

 

Australian Animals

Antarctica

Continents

Antarctica

 

Antarctic Animals

Caves & Subterranean

Habitats

Caves & Subterranean (Non-Aquatic)

  • 7.1. Caves
  • 7.2. Other subterranean habitats

 

Caves & Subterranean Animals

Desert

Habitats

Desert

  • 8.1. Hot
  • 8.2. Temperate
  • 8.3. Cold

 

Desert Animals

Marine Neritic

Habitats

Marine Neritic

  • 9.1. Pelagic
  • 9.2. Subtidal rock and rocky reefs
  • 9.3. Subtidal loose rock/pebble/gravel
  • 9.4. Subtidal sandy
  • 9.5. Subtidal sandy-mud
  • 9.6. Subtidal muddy
  • 9.7. Macroalgal/kelp
  • 9.8. Coral Reef
    • 9.8.1. Outer reef channel
    • 9.8.2. Back slope
    • 9.8.3. Foreslope (outer reef slope)
    • 9.8.4. Lagoon
    • 9.8.5. Inter-reef soft substrate
    • 9.8.6. Inter-reef rubble substrate
  • 9.9 Seagrass (Submerged)
  • 9.10 Estuaries

 

Marine Neritic Animals

Marine Oceanic

Habitats

Marine Oceanic

  • 10.1 Epipelagic (0–200 m)
  • 10.2 Mesopelagic (200–1,000 m)
  • 10.3 Bathypelagic (1,000–4,000 m)
  • 10.4 Abyssopelagic (4,000–6,000 m)

 

Marine Oceanic Animals

Marine Deep Ocean Floor

Habitats

Marine Deep Ocean Floor (Benthic and Demersal)

  • 11.1 Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200–4,000 m)
    • 11.1.1 Hard Substrate
    • 11.1.2 Soft Substrate
  • 11.2 Abyssal Plain (4,000–6,000 m)
  • 11.3 Abyssal Mountain/Hills (4,000–6,000 m)
  • 11.4 Hadal/Deep Sea Trench (>6,000 m)
  • 11.5 Seamount
  • 11.6 Deep Sea Vents (Rifts/Seeps)

 

Marine Deep Ocean Floor Animals

Marine Intertidal

Habitats

Marine Intertidal

  • 12.1 Rocky Shoreline
  • 12.2 Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, etc.
  • 12.3 Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches
  • 12.4 Mud Shoreline and Intertidal Mud Flats
  • 12.5 Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses)
  • 12.6 Tidepools
  • 12.7 Mangrove Submerged Roots

 

Marine Intertidal Animals

Marine Coastal/Supratidal

Habitats

Marine Coastal/Supratidal

  • 13.1 Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands
  • 13.2 Coastal Caves/Karst
  • 13.3 Coastal Sand Dunes
  • 13.4 Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes
  • 13.5 Coastal Freshwater Lakes

 

Marine Coastal/Supratidal Animals

Artificial Terrestrial

Habitats

Artificial – Terrestrial

  • 14.1 Arable Land
  • 14.2 Pastureland
  • 14.3 Plantations
  • 14.4 Rural Gardens
  • 14.5 Urban Areas
  • 14.6 Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

 

Artificial Terrestrial Animals

Artificial Aquatic

Habitats

Artificial – Aquatic

  • 15.1 Water Storage Areas [over 8 ha]
  • 15.2 Ponds [below 8 ha]
  • 15.3 Aquaculture Ponds
  • 15.4 Salt Exploitation Sites
  • 15.5 Excavations (open)
  • 15.6 Wastewater Treatment Areas
  • 15.7 Irrigated Land [includes irrigation channels]
  • 15.8 Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land
  • 15.9 Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches
  • 15.10 Karst and Other Subterranean Hydrological Systems [human-made]
  • 15.11 Marine Anthropogenic Structures
  • 15.12 Mariculture Cages
  • 15.13 Mari/Brackish-culture Pond

 

Artificial Aquatic
Habitats

Introduced Vegetation

 

Introduced Vegetation Animals

Other

Other

 

Other Habitat Animals

Unknown

Unknown

 

Unknown Habitat Animals

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Weedy Seadragon

There have been no range-wide population estimates made for the weedy seadragon and further research and monitoring are needed to determine population size and trends.

To date, there has been no range-wide population estimates made for the weedy seadragon, but several local studies have occurred. Further research and monitoring are needed in order to determine population size and trends in abundance for this species.

One study conducted at five sites near Sydney and Hobart from 2001-2007 and 2003-2004, respectively, found densities of 10 to 70 animals per hectare, with significant declines at three of the five sites. These declines however were not directly attributable to anthropogenic causes, but it is likely given that pollution and invasive species are of concern in the area. Further research is needed to quantify human impacts on the species and to tease them apart from natural cycles and disease outbreaks.

In South Australia, a possible contraction in area of occupancy has been mentioned. Historical records exist from benthic surveys in Gulf St. Vincent in the 1965–1971 period, where reportedly “numerous weedies were observed” in northern Gulf St. Vincent, adjacent to the city of Adelaide. No sightings in this area have been reported to Dragon Search during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Admittedly the lack of recent sightings might be due to the lack of popular diving spots in the northern gulf, and the lack of systematic surveys in recent years. However, the occurrence of seadragons might have been affected by significant habitat degradation and loss recorded since the 1960s in this part of the gulf. In particular, large areas of seagrass have been lost in waters deeper than 10 meters south of a line between Ardrossan and Port Prime.


Image | © Travis Hightower Imaging, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Pollom, 2017; Sanchez-Camara, Martin-Smith, Booth, Fritschi, & Turon, 2011)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Although the weedy seadragon’s reproduction is well documented, it’s not understood what triggers the species to reproduce and mating in captivity is rare.

Although the weedy seadragon’s reproductive strategies are well documented, researchers have yet to understand what biological or environmental factors trigger them to reproduce.

Weedy seadragon mating and pregnancies in captivity are rare. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California and the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the United States of America, and the Melbourne Aquarium in Melbourne, Australia are among the few facilities in the world to have successfully bred weedy seadragons in captivity, though others occasionally report egg laying. In March 2012, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia of the United States of America announced a successful breeding event of weedy seadragons. As of July 2012, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has also successfully bred and hatched baby weedy seadragons on exhibit.


Image | © shemane, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (The Associated Press, 2008; Frostic, 2000; Sea Life Melbourne, 2005; Underwater Times New Service, 2012; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Unlike other syngnathids, the weedy seadragon is not a victim of bycatch or a target of trade in traditional Chinese medicine.

Unlike other syngnathids, the weedy seadragon is not presently a victim of bycatch or a target of trade in traditional Chinese medicine.

These activities are currently a threat to many related seahorse and pipefish populations, as members of these species have often been used in Asia as aphrodisiacs and other medicines. Oriental herbalists can sell their dried and powdered bodies for up to $200 per gram.


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (Frostic, 2000; Martin-Smith & Vincent, 2006; Pollom, 2017; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019; Zoo & Aquarium Assocation)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Seahorses, pipefish, and seadragons, including the weedy seadragon, are the only species in which the male carries the developing eggs.

Like their relatives the seahorses, male weedy seadragons carry and brood the developing eggs externally below their tail. Seadragons, seahorses, and pipefish are the only species in which the male carries the eggs.

Brooding males have been observed in New South Wales from mid-winter to mid-summer, but never from February to June, despite sightings of over 350 seadragons during this period. A more recent study has confirmed this and also indicated that some males exhibit multiple pregnancies in a season.

Males brood two batches of eggs per breeding season, and females are also able to produce multiple broods per season.


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (The Associated Press, 2008; Dawson, 1985; Dragon Search, 2000; Forsgren & Lowe, 2006; Frostic, 2000; Pollom, 2017; Sanchez-Camara, Booth, & Turon, 2005; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Because weedy seadragons are not good swimmers, they are slow-moving and drift in the water and rely on their primary defense mechanism of camouflage to protect them from predation.

Because weedy seadragons are not good swimmers, they are slow-moving and drift in the water with their life-like appendages resembling the swaying seaweed of their habitat. As such, the weedy seadragon’s primary defense mechanism against predation is its camouflage abilities.

Weedy seadragons are not sessile or immobile, but they are not very good swimmers, either. This is because their bodies are surrounded by protective dermal plates, which inhibit their mobility. Also, they lack a caudal fin, and therefore must rely on their ventral and dorsal fins for swimming.

The weedy seadragon is named for its varying number of small, leaf-like appendages, either paired or single, along its body. These purple appendages have a black border and provide the fish camouflage and protection in its habitat because they resemble floating kelp fronds and seaweed.


Image | © Geoffrey Gilmour-Taylor, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Sources | (Bray, 2011; Dawson, 1985; Dragon Search, 2000; Frostic, 2000; Glover, Southcott, & Scott, 1974; Kuiter, 1980; MESA, 2015; Pollom, 2017; Sea Life Melbourne, 2015; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Weedy seadragons have very specific habitat requirements; the water must be 12-23°C and 8-50 m. deep, though most are found 8-12 meters deep.

The weedy seadragons’ depth distribution ranges from shallow bays down to reefs at depths of up to 50 meters (164 feet). Most weedy seadragons are found below the low tide line.

Although weedy seadragons have a broad range of habitat, they have very specific requirements. The water must be between 12 and 23 degrees Celsius (53-73 degrees Fahrenheit), and 8-50 meters deep (26-164 feet), although they most often are found between 8 and 12 meters deep (26-39 feet).


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (Dawson, 1985; Frostic, 2000; MESA, 2015; Pollom, 2017; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Invasive species, such as urchins, that degrade kelp habitat may be contributing to declines in weedy seadragons.

Invasive species including urchins that degrade kelp habitat are an issue for weedy seadragons and may be contributing to declines.

In Tasmania, the macroalgae-covered reefs on which seadragons occur face another threat. Over the last 20 years, the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii, has become more common and increased its range around the state. The increase in sea urchins is considered to have resulted from harvesting of rock lobster, a known predator of urchins, and climate change. Grazing by urchins reduces the abundance of kelp and other macroalgae through the formation of urchin barrens.


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (Pollom, 2017)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

The weedy seadragon usually lives for 6 years, but exhibits variable growth and survival rates and experiences increased longevity, exceeding 10 years, at higher latitudes.

Most weedy seadragons live for up to six years, but increased longevity has been documented at some latitudes.

The von Bertalanffy growth curve parameters for the weedy seadragon vary based on latitude, and are as follows: Sydney: L00=36.28 cm, L0=3.33 cm, and K=1.52; Hobart: L00=34.07 cm, L 0=3.2 cm, and K=0.91.

Also, depending on where they are found latitudinally, the species can exhibit variable growth and survival rates. Slower growth and high survival, as exhibited at higher latitudes, lead to increased longevity, and in the more southerly portion of its range this species is suspected to have a longer lifespan, likely exceeding 10 years.


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (Forsgren & Lowe, 2006; Martin-Smith, 2011; Pollom, 2017; Sanchez-Camara, Martin-Smith, Booth, Fritschi, & Turon, 2011; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

The peaceful weedy seadragon does not negatively affect humans and, in fact, promotes tourism.

The peaceful weedy seadragon does not in any way negatively affect the human species.

In fact, many people go scuba diving off the coast of southern Australia specifically to see weedy seadragons, which, therefore, promotes tourism.


Image | © Rose Davies, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Frostic, 2000)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Male weedy seadragons carry the eggs externally below their tail and incubate them for up to 2 months before 120-250 offspring hatch.

When a male is ready to receive the eggs, which he indicates by wrinkling the lower half of his tail, the female deposits about 120-250 ruby-colored eggs onto his brood patch. These eggs look like small, red grapes.

The skin of the brood patch is made of blood-rich tissue and will form a cup around each egg during deposition. Each cup holds and nourishes one egg.

After the eggs are deposited, they are fertilized by the male. After an incubation time of about eight weeks, the eggs hatch over a period of a couple days.


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (The Associated Press, 2008; Dawson, 1985; Dragon Search, 2000; Forsgren & Lowe, 2006; Frostic, 2000; Pollom, 2017; Sanchez-Camara, Booth, & Turon, 2005; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Weedy seadragons are generally solitary, but pairing and groupings of 20-40 have been observed in the Sydney area and in southern New South Wales.

Most of the time, weedy seadragons are solitary, and are observed on their own or in pairs. However, larger grouping has been observed.

In the Sydney area and in southern New South Wales, aggregations of between 20 and 40 seadragons have been observed, respectively.


Image | © Anne Petersen, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Dawson, 1985; Frostic, 2000; Pollom, 2017; Sanchez-Camara, Booth, Murdoch, Watts, & Turon, 2006)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Weedy sea dragons are sexually dimorphic, as males have narrower bodies and are darker than females.

Weedy sea dragons are sexually dimorphic, as males have narrower bodies and are darker than females.

A weedy sea dragon reaches 45 centimeters, or 18 inches, in length and has a narrow body with a long, tubular snout. It has two spines above its eye, one in front of the eye, for protection.

Adult weedy seadragons are often a reddish color with yellow and purple markings. The bodies of these fish are usually red with yellow spots. The beautiful colors of this seadragon are highlighted by the seven iridescent blue-violet bands along the upper body near the head.


Image | © Anne Petersen, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Bray, 2011; Dragon Search, 2000; Frostic, 2000; Glover, Southcott, & Scott, 1974; Kuiter, 1980; MESA, 2015; Pollom, 2017; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

The weedy seadragon is named for its leafy appendages that provide camouflage and protection in its habitat, allowing it to resemble floating seaweed.

The weedy seadragon is named for its varying number of small, leaf-like appendages, either paired or single, along its body. These purple appendages have a black border and provide the fish camouflage and protection in its habitat because they resemble floating kelp fronds and seaweed.

The weedy seadragon’s primary defense mechanism is its camouflage abilities.


Image | © Noel Portugal, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY 2.0)
Sources | (Bray, 2011; Dragon Search, 2000; Frostic, 2000; Glover, Southcott, & Scott, 1974; Kuiter, 1980; MESA, 2015; Pollom, 2017; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Do you think you know the weedy seadragon? Test your knowledge of weedy seadragon FaunaFacts with this trivia quiz!f

Click on an answer choice to receive instant feedback. Red answers are incorrect, but allow you to continue guessing. Green answers are correct and will provide additional explanatory information. Sometimes more than one answer is correct!

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon | Play on Quizizz


The weedy seadragon is the only member of its genus.
False
The weedy seadragon was previously the only member of its genus until the description of the ruby seadragon in 2015.
True

To what continent is the weedy seadragon endemic?
Australia
The weedy seadragon is endemic to Australia. It can be found along much of the southern Australian coastline, from near Newcastle and Port Stephens, New South Wales (approximately 32° 56’S) southwards to Actaeon Island, Tasmania (43°32’S) and westwards through Victoria and South Australia to Geraldton, Western Australia (28°46’S).
Asia
South America
Africa

What is the weedy seadragon’s diet?
Carnivore
The weedy seadragon is a carnivore.
Herbivore
Omnivore

In what marine habitat does the weedy seadragon reside?
Neritic
The weedy seadragon is a marine neritic animal that inhabits rocky reefs, seaweed beds, sea grass meadows, kelp gardens, and sandy areas. They occur over rocky reefs with algae supporting strands of kelp or other macroalgae or over adjacent stretches of seagrass and sand where they feed on mysids and small crustaceans.
Oceanic
Intertidal
Coastal/Supratidal

How long can a weedy seadragon grow?
45 cm. / 18 in.
A weedy sea dragon reaches 45 centimeters, or 18 inches, in length.
15 cm. / 6 in.
30 cm. / 12 in.
60 cm. / 24 in.

There are species-specific conservation measures in place for the weedy seadragon.
False
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for the species.
True

What attribute originated the weedy seadragon’s name?
Leaf-Like Appendages
The weedy seadragon is named for its varying number of small, leaf-like appendages, either paired or single, along its body.
Kelp Habitat
Colorful Skin
Long, Thin Body

Where do weedy seadragons hold their eggs?
Tail
Like their relatives the seahorses, male weedy seadragons carry and brood the developing eggs externally below their tail.
Mouth
Neck
Fins

Weedy seadragons have teeth.
False
Weedy seadragons have no teeth.
True

Weedy seadragons have prehensile tails to clasp and anchor themselves to seaweed.
False
Though they are similar in appearance to seahorses, which use a prehensile tail to clasp and anchor themselves to seaweed, weedy seadragons do not have prehensile, gripping tails. Instead, weedy seadragons appear to use their tails for steering.
True

What color are weedy seadragon eggs?
Red
Weedy seadragon eggs are ruby-colored that look like small, red grapes.
White
Yellow
Blue

What is the weedy seadragon listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species?
Least Concern
The weedy seadragon is listed as “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Near Threatened
Vulnerable
Endangered

What threatens the weedy seadragon?
Habitat Loss
The weedy seadragon is primarily threatened by habitat degradation and loss due to pollution and sedimentation, especially in urban areas. It is likely given that invasive species are also of concern.
Pollution
The weedy seadragon is primarily threatened by habitat degradation and loss due to pollution and sedimentation, especially in urban areas. It is likely given that invasive species are also of concern.
Invasive Species
The weedy seadragon is primarily threatened by habitat degradation and loss due to pollution and sedimentation, especially in urban areas. It is likely given that invasive species are also of concern.
Bycatch

What is an invasive species for the weedy seadragon?
Sea Urchin
Invasive species including urchins that degrade kelp habitat are an issue for weedy seadragons and may be contributing to declines.
Giant Kelp
Rock Lobster
Leafy Seadragon

How does the loss of giant kelp affect the weedy seadragon?
Increases Water Temperatures
Significant losses of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) have been documented over the past 20 years, associated with increased water temperatures. The reduction in macroalgae could adversely affect seadragons although this has not been demonstrated.
Reduces Macroalgae
Significant losses of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) have been documented over the past 20 years, associated with increased water temperatures. The reduction in macroalgae could adversely affect seadragons although this has not been demonstrated.
Reduces Oxygen
Reduces Competition

There have been numerous range-wide population estimates made for the weedy seadragon.
False
To date, there has been no range-wide population estimates made for the weedy seadragon, but several local studies have occurred. Further research and monitoring are needed in order to determine population size and trends in abundance for this species.
True

What is the parental investment of the weedy seadragon?
None
After the female weedy seadragon deposits the eggs into the male’s brood patch and the male carries the eggs until they hatch, the young receive no parental care because they are released into the external environment.
Maternal
Paternal
Maternal & Paternal

The weedy seadragon negatively affects humans.
False
The peaceful weedy seadragon does not in any way negatively affect the human species.
True

Weedy seadragons are immobile.
False
Weedy seadragons are not sessile or immobile, but they are not very good swimmers, either.
True

How do weedy seadragons differ from leafy seadragons?
Rarity
The leafy seadragon is found in the same geographic range as the weedy seadragon, but it differs in appearance as it has many more leaf-like appendages. Weedy seadragons are also much more common than leafy seadragons.
Number of Appendages
The leafy seadragon is found in the same geographic range as the weedy seadragon, but it differs in appearance as it has many more leaf-like appendages. Weedy seadragons are also much more common than leafy seadragons.
Geographic Range
Conservation Status

How many weedy seadragon offspring generally survive?
60-120
Only 60-120 offspring will survive, while the others will fall prey to sea anemones.
6-12
600-1,200
120-240

Which sex of weedy seadragon carries the eggs after fertilization?
Male
Like their relatives the seahorses, male weedy seadragons carry and brood the developing eggs.
Female
Male & Female
Neither

How many eggs do weedy seadragons lay?
120-250
Weedy seadragons lay 120-250 eggs.
12-25
1,200-2,500
250-500

How long do weedy seadragons incubate their eggs?
2 Months
After an incubation time of about eight weeks, the eggs hatch over a period of a couple days.
1 Month
2 Weeks
5 Months

What water depth does the weedy seadragon prefer?
8-50 m. / 26-164 ft.
Although weedy seadragons have a broad range of habitat, they have very specific requirements. The water must be between 8-50 meters deep (26-164 feet), although they most often are found between 8 and 12 meters deep (26-39 feet).
0-7 m. / 0-22 ft.
51-107 m. / 167-351 ft.
108-150 m. / 354-492 ft.

The weedy seadragon is exploited for the aquarium trade at high levels that are of conservation concern.
False
The weedy seadragon is exploited for the aquarium trade at low levels that are not likely of conservation concern. The volume of wild-caught individuals is small and therefore not currently a major threat.
True

What does the weedy seadragon eat?
Shrimp
The weedy seadragon feeds on mysid shrimps, carid shrimps, prawns of the genus Lucifer, sea lice, larval fish, zooplankton, and other small crustaceans.
Lobster
Kelp
Sea Urchin

What color are the stripes along the weedy seadragon’s upper body?
Blue
The beautiful colors of this seadragon are highlighted by the seven iridescent blue-violet bands along the upper body near the head.
Red
Yellow
Green

The weedy seadragon is legally protected from exploitation and is subject to strict export controls.
True
Along with all syngnathids, the weedy seadragon is protected from exploitation by the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999. They are legally protected in both New South Wales and Tasmania and are subject to strict export controls. It is illegal to take or export weedy seadragons in most of the states within which they occur.
False

The weedy seadragon promotes tourism.
True
Many people go scuba diving off the coast of southern Australia specifically to see weedy seadragons, which, therefore, promotes tourism.
False

When is the weedy seadragon breeding season?
July-January
The breeding season for weedy seadragons is generally July to January, but reproduction occurs later, October to March, in Tasmanian waters.
February-June

What is the survival rate of young weedy seadragons in captivity?
60%
The survival rate for young weedy seadragons is low in the wild, but is about 60% in captivity.
10%
30%
90%

Like other syngnathids, the weedy seadragon is a victim of bycatch and a target of traditional Chinese medicine.
False
Unlike other syngnathids, the weedy seadragon is not presently a victim of bycatch or a target of trade in traditional Chinese medicine. These activities are currently a threat to many related seahorse and pipefish populations, as members of these species have often been used in Asia as aphrodisiacs and other medicines.
True

Weedy seadragon mating and pregnancies in captivity are common.
False
Weedy seadragon mating and pregnancies in captivity are rare.
True

Which oceans does the weedy seadragon inhabit?
Indian
The weedy seadragon is endemic to the Australian waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean and the South Western Pacific Ocean.
Pacific
The weedy seadragon is endemic to the Australian waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean and the South Western Pacific Ocean.
Atlantic
Arctic

What water temperature does the weedy seadragon prefer?
12-23°C / 53-73°F
Although weedy seadragons have a broad range of habitat, they have very specific requirements. The water must be between 12 and 23 degrees Celsius (53-73 degrees Fahrenheit).
0-11°C / 32-52°F
24-35°C / 75-95°F
36-47°C / 97-117°F

What is the weedy seadragon’s primary defense mechanism?
Camouflage
The weedy seadragon’s primary defense mechanism is its camouflage abilities. Their small, purple, leaf-like appendages have a black border and provide the fish camouflage and protection in its habitat because they resemble floating kelp fronds and seaweed.
Swimming Abilities
Venom
Spines

Weedy seadragons are great swimmers and are fast-moving.
False
Weedy seadragons are not good swimmers, they are slow-moving and drift in the water with their life-like appendages resembling the swaying seaweed of their habitat.
True

When do weedy seadragons reach sexual maturity?
1-2 Years
Some individuals mature in one year, but most usually breed in their second year when fully grown. Weedy seadragons usually take about 28 months to reach sexual maturity.
1-2 Weeks
1-2 Months
2-4 Years

Researchers understand what biological or environmental factors trigger weedy seadragons to reproduce.
False
Researchers have yet to understand what biological or environmental factors trigger weedy seadragons to reproduce.
True

Weedy seadragons feed by way of suction.
True
Weedy seadragons feed by way of suction. Their pipe-like terminal mouth has an intricate system of bones pulled by muscles to create a strong suction force that is directed at food.
False

How many subspecies of weedy seadragons are recognized?
0
The weedy seadragon has no subspecies.
2
5
10

Are weedy seadragons sexually dimorphic?
Yes, females are larger and lighter in color.
Weedy sea dragons are sexually dimorphic, as males have narrower bodies and are darker than females.
Yes, males are larger and lighter in color.
No.

The weedy seadragon’s reproductive strategies are well documented.
True
The weedy seadragon’s reproductive strategies are well documented.
False

How many broods will a weedy seadragon have each breeding season?
2
Males brood two batches of eggs per breeding season, and females are also able to produce multiple broods per season.
1
3
5

How long can a weedy seadragon live?
6-10 Years
Most weedy seadragons live for up to six years, but increased longevity has been documented at some latitudes. Slower growth and high survival, as exhibited at higher latitudes, lead to increased longevity, and in the more southerly portion of its range this species is suspected to have a longer lifespan, likely exceeding 10 years.
1-3 Years
12-16 Years
22-26 years

What is the weedy seadragon’s scientific name?
Phyllopteryx taeniolatus
The weedy seadragon’s scientific name is Phyllopteryx taeniolatus.
Phyllopteryx dewysea
Phycodurus eques
Haliichthys taeniophorus

What is the weedy seadragon’s closest relative?
Ruby Seadragon
The weedy seadragon is most closely related to the other member of its genus, the ruby seadragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea).
Leafy Seadragon
Common Seadragon
Lucas’ Seadragon

Weedy seadragons are generally social.
False
Most of the time, weedy seadragons are solitary, and are observed on their own or in pairs. However, larger grouping has been observed. In the Sydney area and in southern New South Wales, aggregations of between 20 and 40 seadragons have been observed, respectively.
True

The weedy seadragon is the marine emblem for which Australian state?
Victoria
The weedy seadragon is the marine emblem of the Australian State of Victoria.
New South Wales
Queensland
South Australia

Seadragons, seahorses, and pipefish are the only species in which the male carries the eggs.
True
Seadragons, seahorses, and pipefish are the only species in which the male carries the eggs.
False

Weedy seadragons have broad, overlapping home ranges that can vary in length.
True
Weedy seadragon individuals have been shown to have broad, overlapping home ranges that can vary in length from 50–150 meters, and be up to 50 meters wide.
False

What are the weedy seadragon’s alternate names?
Common Seadragon
The weedy seadragon is also known as the common seadragon and Lucas’ seadragon.
Lucas’ Seadragon
The weedy seadragon is also known as the common seadragon and Lucas’ seadragon.
Leafy Seadragon
Ruby Seadragon

What prevents weedy seadragons from being good swimmers?
Dermal Plates
Weedy seadragons are not very good swimmers because their bodies are surrounded by protective dermal plates, which inhibit their mobility. Also, they lack a caudal fin, and therefore must rely on their ventral and dorsal fins for swimming.
Lack of Caudal Fin
Weedy seadragons are not very good swimmers because their bodies are surrounded by protective dermal plates, which inhibit their mobility. Also, they lack a caudal fin, and therefore must rely on their ventral and dorsal fins for swimming.
Long Dorsal Fin
Ventral Fins

Where do weedy seadragons breed later than usual?
Tasmania
Weedy seadragon reproduction occurs later, October to March, in Tasmanian waters.
Victoria
South Australia
West Australia

Depending on where they are found latitudinally, weedy seadragons can exhibit variable growth and survival rates.
True
Depending on where they are found latitudinally, weedy seadragons can exhibit variable growth and survival rates. Slower growth and high survival, as exhibited at higher latitudes, lead to increased longevity, and in the more southerly portion of its range this species is suspected to have a longer lifespan.
False

How much did you know about the weedy seadragon? Share your results in the comments!

Learn More About the Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon

Weedy seadragons breed between July-January, usually in their second year when fully grown, but breed later, October-March, in Tasmanian waters.

The breeding season for weedy seadragons is generally July to January, but reproduction occurs later, October to March, in Tasmanian waters.

Some individuals mature in one year, but most usually breed in their second year when fully grown. Weedy seadragons usually take about 28 months to reach sexual maturity.


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (Dawson, 1985; Forsgren & Lowe, 2006; Frostic, 2000; Kuiter, 1980; Martin-Smith, 2011; Pollom, 2017; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

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Weedy Seadragon

Weedy seadragons are not good swimmers because their bodies are surrounded by protective dermal plates and they lack a caudal fin.

Weedy seadragons are not sessile or immobile, but they are not very good swimmers, either. This is because their bodies are surrounded by protective dermal plates, which inhibit their mobility. Also, they lack a caudal fin, and therefore must rely on their ventral and dorsal fins for swimming.

Weedy seadragons do, however, have a long dorsal fin along the back and small pectoral fins on either side of the neck. These fins help provide balance.

Because they are poor swimmers, each year a number of individuals are found washed ashore on the beaches of southern Australia.


Image | © Anne Petersen, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Dawson, 1985; Frostic, 2000; Sea Life Melbourne, 2015; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

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Weedy Seadragon

The weedy seadragon is listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List because a large portion of its range occurs in less populated areas that are not at risk.

The weedy seadragon is threatened by habitat degradation and loss due to pollution and sedimentation, especially in urban areas. A large portion of the species’ range does however occur in some less populated areas that are not at risk. Therefore this species is listed as Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

In 1996, the weedy seadragon was classified as Data Deficient, and in 2006, it was listed as Near Threatened.


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (Frostic, 2000; Pollom, 2017; Sanchez-Camara, Martin-Smith, Booth, Fritschi, & Turon, 2011; Short & Wyllie-Echeverria, 1996; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

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Weedy Seadragon

The weedy seadragon was previously the only member of its genus until the discovery of its closest relative, the ruby seadragon, in 2015.

The weedy seadragon is a marine fish related to the seahorse. It’s in the subfamily Syngnathinae, which contains all pipefish. The weedy seadragon has no subspecies.

It is most closely related to the other member of its genus, the ruby seadragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea) and also the leafy seadragon (Phycodurus eques). The ribboned pipefish (Haliichthys taeniophorus) is not closely related to the weedy seadragon and does not form a true monophyletic clade with weedy and leafy seadragons.

The weedy seadragon was previously the only member of its genus until the description of the ruby seadragon in 2015.


Image | © William Buelow Gould, Public Domain
Sources | (Stiller, Wilson, & Rouse, 2015; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019; Wilson & Rouse, 2010)

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Weedy Seadragon

Although they are similar to seahorses, weedy seadragons do not have prehensile, gripping tails and instead use them for steering.

Though they are similar in appearance to seahorses, which use a prehensile tail to clasp and anchor themselves to seaweed, weedy seadragons do not have prehensile, gripping tails.

Instead, weedy seadragons appear to use their tails for steering.


Image | © Anne Petersen, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (MESA, 2015; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

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Weedy Seadragon

Weedy seadragons have no teeth, but instead feed by way of suction with a pipe-like terminal mouth and an intricate system of bones pulled by muscles.

Weedy seadragons have no teeth, but instead feed by way of suction. Their pipe-like terminal mouth has an intricate system of bones pulled by muscles to create a strong suction force that is directed at food.

The weedy seadragon is a carnivore and feeds on mysid shrimps, carid shrimps, prawns of the genus Lucifer, sea lice, larval fish, zooplankton, and other small crustaceans.


ImageKlaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (Frostic, 2000; Glover, Southcott, & Kendrick & Hyndes, 2005; MESA, 2015; Pollom, 2017; Scott, 1974; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

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Weedy Seadragon

The weedy seadragon is endemic to the Australian waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean and the South Western Pacific Ocean and can be found along much of the southern Australian coastline.

The weedy seadragon is endemic to the Australian waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean and the South Western Pacific Ocean.

It can be found along much of the southern Australian coastline, from near Newcastle and Port Stephens, New South Wales (approximately 32° 56’S) southwards to Actaeon Island, Tasmania (43°32’S) and westwards through Victoria and South Australia to Geraldton, Western Australia (28°46’S).

Individuals of this species have been sighted off the eastern coast of Australia in New South Wales, as far north as Port Stephens; along the southern coast; and up around the western coast of Australia as far north as Geraldton, West Australia. They have also been spotted near Rottnest Island, Western Australia.


Image | © Neil Saunders, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Binohlan, 2018; Dawson, 1985; Frostic, 2000; MESA, 2015; Pogonoski, Pollard, & Paxton, 2002; Pollom, 2017; Stiller, Wilson, & Rouse, 2015; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

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Weedy Seadragon

The weedy seadragon is a carnivore and feeds on mysids, carid shrimps, prawns of the genus Lucifer, and other small crustaceans.

The weedy seadragon is a carnivore and feeds on mysid shrimps, carid shrimps, prawns of the genus Lucifer, sea lice, larval fish, zooplankton, and other small crustaceans.


Image | © Klaus Stiefel, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Sources | (Frostic, 2000; Glover, Southcott, & Kendrick & Hyndes, 2005; MESA, 2015; Pollom, 2017; Scott, 1974; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

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Weedy Seadragon

The weedy seadragon is a marine neritic animal that inhabits rocky reefs, seaweed beds, sea grass meadows, kelp gardens, and sandy areas.

The weedy seadragon is a marine neritic animal that inhabits rocky reefs, seaweed beds, sea grass meadows, kelp gardens, and sandy areas. They occur over rocky reefs with algae supporting strands of kelp or other macroalgae or over adjacent stretches of seagrass and sand where they feed on mysids and small crustaceans.

Seagrass and algal affiliations have been recorded with the species Halophila ovalis, Ecklonia radiata, Macrocystis pyrifera, M. angustifolia, Posidinia spp., Amphibolis spp., and Sargassum spp. Weedy seadragons also live in association with sponges.

Individuals have been shown to have broad, overlapping home ranges that can vary in length from 50–150 meters, and be up to 50 meters wide.


Image | © Noel Portugal, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY 2.0)
Sources | (Baker, 2009; Frostic, 2000; Dawson, 1985; Kuiter, 1980, 2001; MESA, 2015; Pollom, 2017; Sanchez-Camara & Booth, 2004; Sanchez-Camara, Booth, & Turon, 2005; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2019)

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Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)

Throughout the month of July 2019, FaunaFocus will feature its first fish species, the weedy seadragon!

The weedy seadragon is a common seadragon species found along the coast of Southern Australia. This colorful species has several leaf-like appendages that allow it to camouflage with floating seaweed as it sucks up its small shrimp, crustacean, and zooplankton prey through its pipe-like terminal mouth. This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

 

GET INVOLVED

Create art inspired by the Weedy Seadragon and share it in the FaunaFocus Discord Server or on social media with #faunafocus. Learn about more ways to get involved with FaunaFocus!

 

EVENTS
Event Date Time (CDT)
CreateAlong July 12 7:00 pm
Free-For-All: Deadline July 26 12:00 pm
Free-For-All: Livestream July 27 7:00 pm

 


Image | © Anne Petersen, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

African Wild Dog

Several pieces of information are needed for more effective African wild dog conservation, such as cost-effective distribution and status surveys, landscape studies, locally-appropriate means to reduce human-wildlife conflicts, and disease protection.

Several pieces of information are needed to enable more effective conservation of African wild dogs.

Development is needed on cost-effective methods for surveying African wild dogs across large geographical scales. This is crucial as surveys of African wild dog distribution and status are needed, particularly in Algeria, Angola, the Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. Determining the landscape features which facilitate or prevent wild dog movement over long distances will also promote or block landscape connectivity.

Development is also needed for locally-appropriate and effective means to reduce conflict between wild dogs and farmers. Because contact with people, and thus domestic animals, results in the transmission of infectious disease, techniques that will be most effective and sustainable for protecting wild dogs from disease also need to be established.


Image | © Josh More, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Davies & Du Toit, 2004; Kristof, 2010; Mulheisen, Allen, Allen, 2002; Nowak, 1999; Woodroffe & Sillero-Zubiri, 2012)

Learn More About the African Wild Dog

FFA
Judges
Noelle M. Brooks SilverCrossFox Crocutact
Date June 2019 Theme African Wild Dog
Entries 10 Winner Shane S. (Yodeldog)

As the month of June is coming to an end, FaunaFocus has concluded another Free-For-All, this time featuring the African wild dog. Several artists depicted this fan-favorite canine, with a total of 10 artworks submitted to the competition. From digital to traditional, stylized to realistic, each entry was completely unique, just like the markings of each dog.

Congratulations to June 2019’s FaunaFocus Free-For-All Winner, Shane S. (Yodeldog) who created an artwork during a FaunaFocus CreateAlong. Yodeldog illustrated an ethereal, spirit-like African wild dog set upon a starry night sky and surrounded by an array of colors. With glowy effects and intense lighting, this piece enamored the judges.

Yodeldog will choose August 2019’s FaunaFocus, which will be announced at the end of July’s Free-For-All critique livestream. Last month’s winner, Shadowind, has selected July’s FaunaFocus, the first fish FaunaFocus, the weedy seadragon!

 


FaunaFocus Calendar | Free-For-All | Free-For-All Archives

African Wild Dog

African wild dogs have a reluctance to water because of their vulnerability to crocodiles and can lose prey that flees to water.

African wild dogs are very reluctant to venture into water where they easily fall prey to crocodiles, such as the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus).

Because of this reluctance, animals the dogs prey on can escape by fleeing to bodies of water.


Image | © Lip Kee Yap, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Sources | (Wildlife Africa CC, 2004)

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African Wild Dog

African wild dogs never scavenge another animal’s prey, no matter how fresh the kill is.

African wild dogs are generalist carnivorous predators and mostly hunt medium-sized antelope that are about twice their weight or larger. Whereas they weigh 20–30 kilograms, their prey average around 50 kilograms, and may be as large as 200 kilograms.

In most areas, the African wild dog’s principal prey are impala (Aepyceros melampus), greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), Thomson’s gazelle (Eudorcas thomsonii) and common wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus). Small antelope, such as dik-dik (Madoqua spp.), steenbok (Raphicerus campestris) and duiker (tribe Cephalophini), such as common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), are important in some areas, and warthogs (Phacochoerus spp.) are also taken in some populations. They will give chase of larger species, such as common eland (Tragelaphus oryx), African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), and zebra (genus Equus), but rarely kill such prey unless they are old, sick, or injured.

African wild dogs also take very small prey such as hares, lizards, and even eggs, but these make a very small contribution to their diet. For the most part, the African wild dog does not eat plants or insects, except for small amounts of grass.

African wild dogs also occasionally kill livestock and important game animals, but will never scavenge, no matter how fresh the kill is.


Image | © Cloudtail the Snow Leopard, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Estes, 1991; Kingdon, 1997; Mulheisen, Allen, Allen, 2002; Nowak, 1999; Wildlife Africa CC, 2004; Woodroffe & Sillero-Zubiri, 2012)

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African Wild Dog

African wild dogs can chase prey for several kilometers, reaching speeds up to 55 km/hr, and will disembowel and feed on their prey while it’s still alive.

African wild dogs are cooperative hunters and hunt in packs led by the pack’s alpha male.

The African wild dog uses sight, rather than smell, to find prey, then begins to chase the animal once located. The chase can last for several kilometers and reach speeds up to 55 kilometers per hour.

The dogs chase the prey until it tires, attacking on the flanks and rump to attempt to bring the animal down. At times, the dogs will disembowel the prey while it is still running. Once the prey is brought down, the dogs tear it to pieces while it’s still alive, each dog taking as much meat as possible.


Image | © John Morrison, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Canadian Museum of Nature, 2016; Estes, 1991; Kingdon, 1997; Mulheisen, Allen, Allen, 2002; Nowak, 1999; Wildlife Africa CC, 2004)

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African Wild Dog

The Painted Dog Conservation center partakes in African wild dog protection, rehabilitation, education, and conservation in order to preserve this endangered species.

The Painted Dog Conservation is a center that offers African wild dogs a refuge from poachers and rehabilitation when they’re injured.

The center focuses on working with impoverished local villagers and has started economic development programs for nearby villages. The program’s goal is for local people to benefit from the African wild dog’s presence and gain stable income to prevent the need for wildlife poaching. This model would be sustainable for the protection of all species, not just African wild dogs.

The Painted Dog Conservation also runs a children’s camp for school groups, sponsored by donors at $60 per child. At the camp, children can learn that African wild dogs don’t attack humans or prey heavily on livestock. They also learn to differentiate between spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) and African wild dogs, especially as livestock is most often killed by hyenas, rather than wild dogs.


Image | © zoofanatic, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY 2.0)
Sources | (Kristof, 2010)

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African Wild Dog

African wild dogs tolerate scavengers at their kills, except for spotted hyaenas, which they drive off, injure, or kill.

African wild dogs tolerate scavengers at their kills, except for spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta). They drive off hyenas, sometimes injuring or killing them.


Image | © Tambako The Jaguar, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Canadian Museum of Nature, 2016; Estes, 1991; Kingdon, 1997; Mulheisen, Allen, Allen, 2002; Nowak, 1999; Wildlife Africa CC, 2004)

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African Wild Dog

After a gestation of 10 weeks, African wild dogs give birth to 2-20 pups from March-July in grass-lined burrows, usually abandoned aardvark holes.

The African wild dog reaches sexual maturity at approximately 12 to 18 months, though they usually do not mate until much later. The youngest recorded reproduction of a female was at 22 months old.

Gestation is approximately ten weeks and pups are usually born between March and July. Litter sizes can vary considerably, from 2 to 20 pups, with an average of 8 pups. The smaller litter sizes have been recorded from animals in captivity.

Breeding females gives birth to their litters in grass-lined burrows, usually an abandoned aardvark hole. The pups remain in the den with their mother for three to four weeks.

The interval between litters is normally 12 to 14 months.


Image | © Cloudtail the Snow Leopard, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Estes, 1991; Kingdon, 1997; Mulheisen, Allen, Allen, 2002; Nowak, 1999; Stuart & Stuart, 2007)

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African Wild Dog

African wild dog conservation strategies have been developed in all regions of Africa and focus on coexistence between people and wild dogs, sustainable land use for the dogs, public perception of the dogs, and ensuring a policy for wild dog conservation.

Conservation strategies have been developed for the African wild dog in all regions of Africa. Many range states have used these strategies as templates for their own national action plans.

Although each regional strategy was developed independently through a separate participatory process, the three strategies have a similar structure, comprising objectives aimed at improving coexistence between people and African wild dogs, encouraging land use planning to maintain and expand wild dog populations, building capacity for wild dog conservation within range states, outreach to improve public perceptions of wild dogs at all levels of society, and ensuring a policy framework compatible with wild dog conservation.

In South Africa, predator-proof fencing around small reserves has proved reasonably effective at keeping dogs confined to the reserve, but such fencing is not 100% effective and is unlikely to be long-term beneficial for wildlife communities.


Image | © Josh More, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Davies-Mostert,Mills, & Macdonald, 2009; Sillero-Zubiri, Hoffmann, & Macdonald, 2004; South Sudan Wildlife Service, 2010; Woodroffe, Ginsberg, & Macdonald, 1997; Woodroffe & Sillero-Zubiri, 2012)

Learn More About the African Wild Dog