Responsibility: Greg Pyers. They swim in herds but you usually see them swimming in pairs. Dugongs can live for around 70 years, but they are slow to mature, with females reaching breeding age at around 10 years. Dugongs once grazed in their thousands on the seabed off the Philippines. Dugongs prefer wide shallow bays and areas protected by large inshore islands. Dugongs are sirenians and therefore related to manatees. The name sea cow refers to the fact that they graze on seagrass, which forms meadows in sheltered coastal waters. So even under optimal conditions, dugong populations can only ever increase by 5% a year. We are actively collaborating with farmers in Great Barrier Reef catchments to protect the quality of water that enters the Reef and thereby prevent dugong habitat from being degraded. Dugongs are strict herbivores that feed on seagrass, especially the Hydrocharitaceae and Potamogetonaceae family of seagrasses. They also often become victims of bycatch, the accidental entanglement in fishing nets. Dugongs can live for around 70 years, but they are slow to mature, with females reaching breeding age at around 10 years. At what age do female dugongs first give birth? Dugongs are strictly marine mammals, unlike manatees which require freshwater phases during their … The fact that they live in shallow waters puts them under great … The Dugongs live for a long time when compared to other marine creatures. Dugongs are more closely related to elephants than to other marine mammals. This community is one of the most isolated in the world, 800 Km. When seagrass is scarce, dugongs feed on algae. Dugong numbers have decreased in recent times. They live in warm, coastal waters and have a huge but fragmented range. Because sea grass is impractical to grow for feeding, animals in aquariums are generally fed lettuce. If there are stresses in their environment (such as increased cyclones and floods from climate change) then dugongs will produce fewer young. The Mermaid myth. Sometimes they go out into the open sea; Go into estuaries and estuaries of rivers. Where do Manatees and Dugongs live? Female dugongs have one calf after a yearlong pregnancy, and the mother helps her young reach the surface and take its first breath. Palau: a small community of dugongs live on this island, at the western limit of the Carolines. Dugongs can live until they are seventy years old. Dugongs are pregnant for 14 months and give birth to live young. For more than a decade WWF-Australia has been partnering with a variety of stakeholders to reform fisheries management in Queensland to support threatened species like the dugong. Dugongs occur in over 40 countries in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean and are able to move into different home ranges, travelling hundreds of kilometers in a few days. Dugongs, distant relatives of the manatee, can live for 70 years and grow to nearly 1,000 pounds. Dugongs can live until they are seventy years old. Do you think dugongs are as beautiful as mermaids? A female is 10 before she has her first calf and will only reproduce every three to seven years, caring for a single calf for two years or more. Commonly known as "sea cows," dugongs graze peacefully on sea grasses in shallow coastal waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. Text available under Creative Commons licence. With its voluptuous body, fluked tail and shy temperament, it's easy to imagine the dugong inspiring the mermaid legend. … Dugongs and people: Of cultural significance to many native peoples of the Indo-Pacific region, the dugong has been hunted for meat, bones, and hide. Length: Up to 3 metres Dugongs can be quite large, reaching lengths of more than 13 feet (4 m) and weights more than one metric tonne. Dugongs have tough pads on their lower lip to help them grab vegetation, and 10 to 14 teeth. On the east coast of Queensland, we estimate that each year commercial gillnetting entangles around 50 of these majestic animals, so it's a significant threat to declining populations. A small isolated population persists in the remote Pacific archipelago of Palau. Dugong’s diet consists entirely of seagrass. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Taking this net out will create a 385-square-kilometre haven for dugongs in Princess Charlotte Bay. and was responsible for the highest record of dugong strandings following the Queensland 2010/11 summer of floods, You can help right now by contributing to WWF-Australia's. Dugongs graze on underwater grasses day and night, rooting for them with their bristled, sensitive snouts and chomping them with their rough lips. Do you think dugongs are as beautiful as mermaids? 2010-05-16 04:30:09 2010-05-16 04:30:09. Dugongs are primarily herbivores, eating seagrasses and algae. This makes the conservation of their shallow water marine habitat very important. WWF-Australia campaigns to reduce coastal development and marine pollution that may impact on those seagrass meadows or put nearby marine ecosystems at risk. Dugong’s diet consists entirely of seagrass. Dugongs … Dugongs (Dugong dugon), also known as sea cows, have a broad but fragmented range, encompassing tropical waters from East Africa to Vanuatu, about 26 degrees both north and south of the equator. Dugongs not only become entangled in fishing nets and drown, as unintended bycatch; they also suffer boat strikes and can choke on marine debris left behind by fishers. Dugongs are related to manatees and are similar in appearance and behaviorâ though the dugong's tail is fluked like a whale's. Opportunities to create a 385-square-kilometre haven for dugongs don't come along too often. Dugongs can live for 70 years or more. Seagrass feeding and breeding areas are absolutely vital to dugongs. 7 8 9. A dugong will have its first calf between 6-18 years old. Crabs have also been found in the stomachs of some dugongs. Poor eyesight means the dugong is reliant on sensitive bristles along its pig-like snout to locate the grasses on which it dines, and it can dive for up to 10 minutes at a time while grazing. Though Acquatic it breathes air through lungs and has live babies not eggs like fish Dugongs swim by moving their broad spade-like tail in an up and down motion, and by use of their two flippers. This gentle mammal's body is beautifully streamlined for marine life and it glides effortlessly through seagrass meadows, but is just as elusive. About Dugongs. The dugong can be found in the waters of around 40 territories throughout the Indian and South Pacific oceans, including within the boundaries of countries in Australia, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Some populations of dugongs off of Western Australia find mates this way. For a population to remain stable, 95 percent of adults must survive the span of one year. The Arabian Gulf is home to about 5,300 dugongs, of which almost 75 per cent live off the Abu Dhabi coast. Take action now. Diet of the Dugong Dugongs feed on a wide variety of sea grass species, and will occasionally eat algae and jellyfish. A single adult dugong can grow up to three meters, weigh up to 500 kilograms and live for 70 years. Dugongs live in warm, coastal waters from East Africa to Australia. At what age do female dugongs first give birth? Their constant browsing of seagrass encourages regrowth - ensuring critical habitat and feeding sites for a host of other marine species, including turtles, dolphins and sawfish. A dugong is an aquatic mammal that is distinguished from the manatees by its forked tail. The mating process itself does vary a little bit, depending on the group of dugongs. But even here, commercial gill nets that drape like curtains pose a … They are the only marine mammals in Australia that live mainly on plants. What Do Dugongs Eat? A small number of dugongs are found in Palau (Micronesia), near. Dugong Care. Dugongs are found in the largest numbers in Australian waters, where they live in the shallower part of the seas of northern Australia. Though they resemble cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), dugongs and manatees are believed to be descendants of land mammals that make them more … Male dugongs do not seem to participate at all in the care of the calf. A dugong (Dugong dugon) swimming in the sea © istockphoto.com / WWF. The dugong's breeding season occurs throughout the year, although dugongs will … map in black and blue detailing the Sirenian Distribution Throughout the World. A short answer to this is "Yes", but an even shorter answer is "No", and the latter is also the true answer. Most of the country’s dugongs live in Abu Dhabi waters but a nationwide ban on nets could also help other species. Series Title: Finding out about. Asked by Wiki User. When a dugong is born it stays with its mother and drinks her milk for about 18 months. They produce calves every two and a half to five years. We need stronger federal laws to stop our nature from being erased. Vagrant animals will occasionally appear as far south as southern New South Wales and near Perth in Western Australia. Dugongs, or sea cows as they are sometimes called, are marine animals which can grow to about three metres in length and weigh as much as 400 kilograms. These enormous vegetarians can be found in warm coastal waters from East Africa to Australia, including the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific. You can find Dugongs in Northern Australia. The colour of a Dugong can change due to growth of algae on the skin. about dugongs. Dugongs are referred to as sea cows because they use their strong, cleft upper lips to graze on sea grasses they uproot from the seafloor. But even here, commercial gill nets that drape like curtains pose a threat of drowning. It is estimated that 10,000 dugongs live in the waters of Shark Bay, representing 10% of the world's remaining population. Sirenian Distribution Throughout the World. This number is reduced in areas where calvingis minimal due to food shortages. They were once common throughout the Indian Ocean but now there are only a few thousand left in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, and just a few hundred in Asia. The dugongs are affected by a wide number of parasitic diseases and infections. Share this page with your friends and family to help endangered animals even more. Dugong distribution has declined around the world and the population living on the Great Barrier Reef may be one of the largest remaining. Physical Description A fully grown dugong. The female will produce a single calf after a 14-month pregnancy. That is, they are found off the coast of a large number of countries, but they aren't continuous throughout this area. However, its exact population numbers are hard to track. The dugong is a species of sea cow found throughout the warm latitudes of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. Answer. There is no reason for the females to visit this place otherwise, and their only reason for coming is to find mates. Dugongs are very shy creatures. The Dugong is found over a broad range of the coastal and inland waters of the western Indo-Pacific region. Dugongs live for approximately 70 years. With your help, WWF-Australia can ensure that the Princess Charlotte Bay Special Management Area is a truly special area for dugongs. Dugongs are classified as Vulnerable. Feeding . The vast seagrass plains of the northern Great Barrier Reef are home to one of the largest populations of dugongs in the world. “If a fisherman responsible loses the net, it becomes a ghost net and sadly this is just a trap for dead fish. “It is clear that gill net fishing and dugongs do not mix, the Queensland Government needs to do more to ensure the protection of our iconic marine wildlife. Dugongs can live for seventy years. It's the first step in securing a Net-Free North to help safeguard dugongs, plus scores of other marine creatures like sea turtles, sharks, sawfish and snubfin dolphins. The dugong's hearing is acute and, even without vocal chords, it can produce squeaks and pips to communicate with its young. Feeding . Okinawa (Japan) and in the Straits of Johor between Malaysia and Singapore. Dugongs are large grey mammals which spend their entire lives in the sea. And unlike manatees, which use freshwater areas, the dugong is strictly a marine mammal. We support investment in expanded data collection and compliance programs, and champion sustainable practices that conserve ecosystems, sustain livelihoods and ensure food security. In an effort to combat this, some actions have been taken to protect dugongs such as a legal protection status as well as a ban (or limit) on any products that are derived from the animal. Habitat: Dugongs inhabit coastal and island waters between East Africa and Vanuatu with the seagrass plains of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon serving as prime habitat. These low breeding rates, long-term care of their calve… Some believe that dugongs were the inspiration for ancient seafaring tales of mermaids and sirens. Where Do They Live? Dugongs are cousins of manatees and share a similar plump appearance, but have a dolphin fluke-like tail. Offspring may remain with their mothers for up to two years and individuals are sometimes found in loosely structured groups of up to a dozen or so animals. 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