How do dugongs affect the ecosystem?

Wherever they survive, dugongs play an important role in maintaining coastal ecosystems. 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.

What will happen if the dugong goes extinct?

Abu Dhabi If dugongs become extinct, the impact will not be limited merely to the fact that future generations will not get to see the marine mammal — their absence will almost surely have an impact on the availability of sea fish, the staple diet of millions of people across the world.

Why is it important to protect dugongs?

They also protect coasts from the impacts of storms, improve the quality of marine water and help prevent climate change acceleration. The dugong that live in these seagrass ecosystems are excellent barometers indicative of the overall health of the ecosystem.

How does climate change affect dugongs?

Dugongs are also threatened by climate change. Dugongs are dependent on shallow coastal waters and are vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather events, such as cyclones and flooding, which destroy their critical seagrass meadows.

Is dugong extinct endangered or threatened?

Dugong/Conservation status
The dugong’s current distribution is fragmented, and many populations are believed to be close to extinction. The IUCN lists the dugong as a species vulnerable to extinction, while the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species limits or bans the trade of derived products.

How do dugongs adapt to their environment?

The dugong, also known as the sea cow, is adapted for life in the sea with a streamlined body, wedge-shaped tail and strong flippers. As air-breathing mammals, dugongs must return to the surface every five to 10 minutes. If frightened, dugongs make a whistling sound while calves give bleat-like cries.

How can dugong threats be reduced?

Whether in protection areas or not, take care to avoid injuring or distressing dugongs. Protect habitat: Avoid damaging seagrass an don’t drag boats over seagrass meadows. Take action to prevent pollutants, nutrients and herbicides from agriculture and other land-based activities flowing into creeks and rivers.

How can we save dugongs and other endangered animals?

How does plastic pollution affect dugongs?

Climate change reduces seagrass meadows, which is the dugong’s major source of food. As for most marine animals plastic pollution is another major threat: dugongs may get entangled in plastic products, plastic may clog up their stomachs, or microplastics may release toxins.

What are some threats to the dugong?

Threats. Dugongs are threatened by sea grass habitat loss or degradation because of coastal development or industrial activities that cause water pollution. If there is not enough sea grass to eat then the dugong does not breed normally. This makes the conservation of their shallow water marine habitat very important.

What is a dugong and where does it live?

The dugong is a species of sea cow found throughout the warm latitudes of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. The dugong, like all sea cows, is herbivorous. It primarily grazes on sea grasses and therefore spends most of its time in sea grass beds.

What are the dangers of the dugong?

Dugong – Dangers. Pollution of this area is a serious threat to dugong survival, because seagrass health depends on water quality. Oil business brought to an extensive coastal industrial development, including steel production, plastics, chemicals and fertilizers, which are all products with high pollution impact.

What is being done to preserve dugongs?

The Memorandum of Understanding on the conservation and management of dugongs and their habitats throughout their range, under the auspice of the convention of migratory species of wild animals, is viewed by all signatory states as a crucial mechanism to preserve this species.

How long can a dugong live?

The dugong (Dugong dugon) is the only herbivorous marine mammal. A single adult dugong can grow up to three meters, weigh up to 500 kilograms and live for 70 years. Dugongs can remain underwater for 3 to 12 minutes while feeding and travelling. They can eat up to 40 kilograms of seagrasses per day.

What do dugongs tell us about seagrass ecosystems?

Seagrass ecosystems with dugongs indicate a healthy ecosystem. When seagrass are healthy they play an important role in securing the dietary needs of coastal communities and millions of consumers of fish and seafood globally.