The Dorset Wildlife Trust in the United Kingdom announced that seahorses have once again been sighted off the coast of Dorset, suggesting that they are indeed alive and breeding contrary to what was initially believed that the sea creatures were already in decline.

Julie Hatcher, a member of the wildlife trust, spotted a female and male seahorse during a recent dive, describing the two sea creatures as large and in good condition.

Studland Bay is considered to be a vital habitat for both short-snouted spiny seahorses.

In 2008, both seahorse species were listed as threatened according to the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

A representative of the Dorset Wildlife Trust said that there was not enough information available that could help explain the lack of seahorse sightings in the seagrass meadows of Studland Bay in recent years.

The wildlife trust representative said that this could have been caused by the lack of people surveying for the sea creatures, or that the population of seahorses follow a cycle of boom and bust.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has removed Studland Bay as a potential candidate to be included in the list of Marine Conservation Zones earlier this year.

In 2014, wildlife conservationists in the UK warned that the number of spiny seahorses spotted off the coast of Dorset has dwindled to just a single seahorse from what was once considered a thriving colony.

From the 40 individual seahorses previously observed by campaigners around Studland Bay back in 2008, the number has significantly dropped to only four seahorses in 2013.

Seahorse Trust director Neil Garrick-Maidment said that the isolated sighting of the sea creature was very sad and called the situation as the decline of a marine species.

Natural England, a non-departmental body of the British government responsible for the protection of the country's natural environment, said that it was difficult place the recent sighting of the spiny seahorse in context.

The meadows of seagrass located in Studland Bay have long served as the breeding ground for the protected spiny seahorse, which are known to grow to around eight inches in length.

The sighting of the lone seahorse was made by documentary film maker Andy Jackson.

Photo: Tim Sheerman-Chase | Flickr

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