Dugong Population On The Rise

Great news for the Dugong population has been released, which shows the highest numbers of the rare mammals in over a decade.

Officials and volunteers snared the Dugongs in the Koh Libong area in Trang, tagged them for monitoring purposes, before releasing them back into the sea.

Modern technology in the form of drones and gyroplanes were used to obtain numbers, which was recorded at 169. This is an increase of nine from 2016 and a whopping 34 up from 2014.

The creatures decline is due to a drop in seagrass meadows and fishing in the area.

Officials and volunteers from Haad Chaomai National Park recently captured dugongs in the Koh Libong area in Trang to tag them, so that the rare mammals can be monitored via satellite for conservation efforts.

Well many of you will know this placid creature as a sea cow. They are related to manatees, with a similar plump appearance. Unlike its cousin, the manatee, the Dugong resides only in salt water conditions.

The mammals can be found grazing on sea grass in shallow coastal waters and tend to be loners or live in pairs but also gather in herds.

If left in peace, they can live to the grand old age of seventy, growing to 10 feet (3 metres) with a possible weight of 1000 lbs (454 kilograms)

They can be found in the east coast of Africa, the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

They can remain below the surface of the water for around six minutes and will feed both day and night.

They have been targets for coastal hunters over the years, with their meat, oil, skin, bones and teeth all in demand. However, they are now a protected species.


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