Dugongs are cousins of manatees and share a similar plump appearance, but have a dolphin fluke-like tail. She will stay pregnant for 13 to 15 months. They live around seventy years, and the oldest dugong that has been recorded officially was 73 years of age. Dugongs live in warm coastal waters, shallow bays and lagoons. You do not want to do that because you are making the Dugong population decrease! About Dugongs. 4. --Swimming --Dugong calves --Growing up --Studying dugongs --Dugong family tree --Threats to dugongs in Australia --World dugong numbers --Dugong conservation --Dugongs and people --Dugong relatives --Finding out more --Glossary. The dugong is a species of sea cow found throughout the warm latitudes of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. 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. The Arabian Gulf is home to about 5,300 dugongs, of which almost 75 per cent live off the Abu Dhabi coast. But even here, commercial gill nets that drape like curtains pose a threat of drowning. Few dugongs are kept in human care, and knowledge of their needs is sparse. A small isolated population persists in the remote Pacific archipelago of Palau. 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. They are found from the east coast of Africa to Vanuatu and other islands of the western Pacific. They also often become victims of bycatch, the accidental entanglement in fishing nets. All rights reserved. about dugongs. If there are stresses in their environment (such as increased cyclones and floods from climate change) then dugongs will produce fewer young. They can be found on shorelines in the Pacific … Dugongs are related to manatees and are similar in appearance and behaviorâ though the dugong's tail is fluked like a whale's. • We want to write about how dugongs travel around and dive in the places where they live. Dugongs live in northern Australia’s sheltered, coastal waters. About Dugongs. We support investment in expanded data collection and compliance programs, and champion sustainable practices that conserve ecosystems, sustain livelihoods and ensure food security. Not only do dugongs have tails with pointed projections that are more similar to a whale than that of a manatee, but they also differ in the appearance of their nose and teeth. The northern Great Barrier Reef is a stronghold for dugongs, which are threatened all around the world. What Do Dugongs Eat? Dugongs are strictly marine mammals, unlike manatees which require freshwater phases during their … 3. Being so dependent on shallow coastal waters leaves dugongs extremely vulnerable to global warming, especially rising sea levels. Marine pollution Do you think dugongs are as beautiful as mermaids? Dugongs can be quite large, reaching lengths of more than 13 feet (4 m) and weights more than one metric tonne. We must also continue our support for the Reef, to ensure dugongs have places to live and eat. Opportunities to create a 385-square-kilometre haven for dugongs don't come along too often. They nap a lot between meals. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. These days, dugongs are under pressure from other activities, such as loss of habitat, boat traffic and being caught in fishing nets. email@example.com or call 1800 032 551. The mating process itself does vary a little bit, depending on the group of dugongs. Sometimes they go out into the open sea; Go into estuaries and estuaries of rivers. This Shark Awareness Day, let’s celebrate some of the most enigmatic and misunderstood creatures of the blue – sharks and rays. Physical Description A fully grown dugong. But even here, commercial gill nets that drape like curtains pose a … It is listed by the IUCN as "vulnerable". Reproduction . Answer. Dugongs are pregnant for 14 months and give birth to live young. In other areas males are mo… And unlike manatees, which use freshwater areas, the dugong is strictly a marine mammal. A young female dugong can get pregnant for the first time when she is between 4 and 17 years old. Dugongs, distant relatives of the manatee, can live for 70 years and grow to nearly 1,000 pounds. The dugongs are affected by a wide number of parasitic diseases and infections. Pesticide and nutrient run-off into the Great Barrier Reef degrades water quality and can smother the seagrasses on which dugongs depend. Do you think dugongs are as beautiful as mermaids? Dugongs can become sexually active as soon as six years of age, but it can be delayed by many years as well, perhaps due to the lack of ample food supply in the area. Dugongs can live up to 70 years. The Dugongs are endangered by fisherman that try to hunt them down for dinner. It is the only member of the Dugongidae family, and its closest living relatives are the manatees. Around the world, dugongs have been hunted to near extinction. Sirenian Distribution Throughout the World. Female dugongs have one calf after a yearlong pregnancy, and the mother helps her young reach the surface and take its first breath. Photos and graphics © WWF or used with permission. How much do you know about dugongs? Photograph by Mike Parry, Minden Pictures/Nat Geo Image Collection, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/d/dugong.html. Dugongs are found in the largest numbers in Australian waters, where they live in the shallower part of the seas of northern Australia. These languid animals make an easy target for coastal hunters, and they were long sought for their meat, oil, skin, bones, and teeth. WWF is one of Australia’s most trusted conservation organisations. They are rarely if ever, seen in freshwater areas. Female dugongs first breed between the age of six and 17 years old. If you have any questions about your donation, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly Supporter Services team either by email: “If a fisherman responsible loses the net, it becomes a ghost net and sadly this is just a trap for dead fish. Female dugongs give birth underwater to a single calf at three to seven year intervals. Dugongs … Dugongs reach adult size between 4 and 17 years of age. The Mermaid myth. Dugongs are usually observed singly or as pairs, and sightings of dugongs by early seafarers are believed to have given rise to the mythology of mermaids and Sirens. 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. If you would like to help us, please make a donation. Although generally travelling at a leisurely rate of 10 kilometres per hour, the dugong can accelerate to 22 kilometres per hour in short bursts. w3.shorecrest.org "According to the U.S. 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. The tail of the dugong is typically forked like the tail of a shark, where the tail of the manatee is broad and flat, and slightly more flipper looking than fin looking. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- A dugong is an aquatic mammal that is distinguished from the manatees by its forked tail. The name sea cow refers to the fact that they graze on seagrass, which forms meadows in sheltered coastal waters. 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. Feeding . 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. Our team will be in touch soonHere are other ways to help WWF. Here are 7 facts! Dugongs once grazed in their thousands on the seabed off the Philippines. With your help, WWF-Australia can ensure that the Princess Charlotte Bay Special Management Area is a truly special area for dugongs. A young dugong remains close to its mother for about 18 months, sometimes catching a ride on her broad back. Taking this net out will create a 385-square-kilometre haven for dugongs in Princess Charlotte Bay. Dugongs live for approximately 70 years. Length: Up to 3 metres Dugong breeding and foraging behaviour have been researched, as has their interaction with predators such as tiger sharks. Fish and Wildlife Service, no one knows just how many manatees there actually are. Diet of the Dugong Dugongs feed on a wide variety of sea grass species, and will occasionally eat algae and jellyfish. … Life history cycle Like their relatives, the manatees of the Americas, female Dugongs in season attract the attention of a number of … Dugongs can remain underwater for 3 to 12 minutes while feeding and travelling. The female will produce a single calf after a 14-month pregnancy. Dugong’s diet consists entirely of seagrass. Herds of 100–200 dugongs, however, are sometimes seen, with 450 being the maximum recorded. Even in the best conditions, a population is unlikely to increase more than 5% a year, leaving dugongs vulnerable to over-exploitation. Dugongs live in warm, coastal waters from East African to Australia. Wherever they survive, dugongs play an important role in maintaining coastal ecosystems. The dugong feed mainly on sea grasses, they are heavily dependent on this as a source of food, so only live where sea grass grows. It is the second-largest population in the world after Australia (including Papua New Guinea), which has up to 95,000. Dugongs can live for about 70 years but population growth is slow. Text available under Creative Commons licence. Male dugongs do not seem to participate at all in the care of the calf. Where do Manatees and Dugongs live? Dugongs are pregnant for 14 months and give birth to live young. Dugongs are more closely related to elephants than to other marine mammals. Dugongs are important to their habitats. Dugongs spend much of their time alone or in pairs, though they are sometimes seen gathered in large herds of a hundred animals. Female dugongs have one calf after a yearlong pregnancy, and the mother helps her young reach the surface and take its first breath. Though they resemble cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), dugongs and manatees are believed to be descendants of land mammals that make them more … This gentle mammal's body is beautifully streamlined for marine life and it glides effortlessly through seagrass meadows, but is just as elusive. According to Spolarich, while manatees live on the western coasts of the Atlantic, dugongs are located throughout the warm latitudes of the Indian and western Pacific oceans. Dugongs can live for a very long time, and one that was captured in a peat bog in New Zealand was estimated to be around 3,500 years old. Dugong distribution has declined around the world and the population living on the Great Barrier Reef may be one of the largest remaining. The fact that they live in shallow waters puts them under great … The highest concentration of dugongs is off the coast of northern Australia, whereas the second largest population occurs in the Arabian Gulf. Where Do Dugongs Live? Dugongs are primarily herbivores, eating seagrasses and algae. This community is one of the most isolated in the world, 800 Km. Reproduction . Dugongs once grazed in their thousands on the seabed off the Philippines. Their life is slow and easy. Another name for a Dugong is a sea cow. Asked by Wiki User. The largest population of dugongs can be found off the coast of Australia, from Western Australia to Queensland. Physical Description The Dugong may reach 3m in length and weigh almost 500 kgs. Here as well a decline is noted, as indicated by aerial surveys done in 1978, 1983 e 1991, with sightings that have decreased from 34-38 specimen in the first two surveys, to 26 in the last. These mammals can stay underwater for six minutes before surfacing. Dugongs live in warm, coastal waters from East Africa to Australia. Dugongs live in northern Australia’s sheltered, coastal waters. The Mermaid myth. Palau: a small community of dugongs live on this island, at the western limit of the Carolines. Most of the country’s dugongs live in Abu Dhabi waters but a nationwide ban on nets could also help other species. When a dugong is born it stays with its mother and drinks her milk for about 18 months. They live in warm, coastal waters and have a huge but fragmented range. Dugongs can live for around 70 years, but they are slow to mature, with females reaching breeding age at around 10 years. Where Do Manatees and Dugongs Live? Dugongs tend to occur in groups or herds and their movement over an area can be followed by the sand plume disturbances to the sea floor. Dugongs will sometimes ‘stand’ on their tails with their heads out of the water; As soon as a baby Dugong is born, the mother pushes it to the surface so that it can take a breath of air. Take action now. For a population to remain stable, 95 percent of adults must survive the span of one year. Discarded ‘ghost nets’ and fishing gear are especially hazardous and can entrap unwitting animals. 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. They are found along the coast of many countries around the Indian and Pacific Oceans from the coast of India to Vanuatu. Dugongs feed mostly on small, delicate seagrasses, which are low in fibre, high in nitrogen and easily digestible. Top Answer. Dugongs are strict herbivores that feed on seagrass, especially the Hydrocharitaceae and Potamogetonaceae family of seagrasses. The distribution areas of the four families of sea-cows do not overlap and are sometimes very far apart (see map below). When a dugong is born it stays with its mother and drinks her milk for about 18 months. 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. Wiki User Answered . Crabs have also been found in the stomachs of some dugongs. Dugongs were hunted to the edge of extinction in the early part of last century by Europeans for food and oil. Series Title: Finding out about. The Mermaid myth. They are the only marine mammals in Australia that live mainly on plants. They sometimes breathe by âstandingâ on their tail with their heads above water. Dugongs are now legally protected throughout their range, but their populations are still in a tenuous state. Dugongs can live for seventy years. Dugongs, also known as Sea Cows are large charismatic marine mammals that live in tropical costal areas. The Life Cycle of a Dugong The life cycle of a dugong is very long. Dugongs graze on underwater grasses day and night, rooting for them with their bristled, sensitive snouts and chomping them with their rough lips. This range spans at least 48 countries and about 140,000 km of tropical coastline. Conservation Status and Threats ©Getty Images. • We will count the dugong and try to work out how many there are. In the vibrant turquoise waters of Japan's Henoko Bay, dugong herds once grazed peacefully on vast meadows of sea grass. When under stress, females respond by producing fewer young, further stalling population growth. 2010-05-16 04:30:09 2010-05-16 04:30:09. Where Do They Live? Where do dugongs live? The Dugongs live for a long time when compared to other marine creatures. These enormous vegetarians can be found in warm coastal waters from East Africa to Australia, including the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific. Responsibility: Greg Pyers. Crabs have also been found in the stomachs of some dugongs. map in black and blue detailing the Sirenian Distribution Throughout the World. You can help right now by contributing to WWF-Australia's Net-Free North appeal. Both are related to the elephant, although the giant land animal is not at all similar in appearance or behavior. Dugongs live in warm, coastal waters from East Africa to Australia. Here as well a decline is noted, as indicated by aerial surveys done in 1978, 1983 e 1991, with sightings that have decreased from 34-38 specimen in the first two surveys, to 26 in the last. The name sea cow refers to the fact that they graze on seagrass, which forms meadows in sheltered coastal waters. We're in negotiations to buy the last full-time commercial gill net in operation in the northern Great Barrier Reef - a net stretching 600 metres that poses a deadly threat to dugongs. Dugongs have a remarkable life span of up to 70 years in the wild. These enormous vegetarians can be found in warm coastal waters from East Africa to Australia, including the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific. A short answer to this is "Yes", but an even shorter answer is "No", and the latter is also the true answer. Dugongs are classified as Vulnerable. This diet has worked well for manatees in the United States. They swim in herds but you usually see them swimming in pairs. Dugong’s diet consists entirely of seagrass. “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. They usually only have one calf at a time which is breast-fed for 18 months before it can eat seagrass. The calf stays with its mother, drinking milk from her teats and following close by until one or two years of age. Female dugongs first breed between the age of six and 17 years old. Dugongs are threatened by sea grass habitat loss or degradation because of coastal development or industrial activities that cause water pollution. A herd of dugongs cruise along shallow waters More The mammals are a rare sight due to human intrusion and pollution, but COVID-19 travel restrictions have left coastal regions undisturbed. Dugongs (Dugong dugon), also known as ‘sea cows’, have captured the imagination of the general public ever since they were first scientifically named in the 18th century.Much of the research on dugongs has been undertaken in Australia and SE Asia and publications are rarely dedicated specifically to the Red Sea population of dugongs and their conservation status. A single adult dugong can grow up to three meters, weigh up to 500 kilograms and live for 70 years. 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