Dugongs are aquatic creatures on the eastern coast of Africa. Here is some information on dugongs and endangered species in general.
What Is An Endangered Species?
An endangered species is a group of animals that are in the same species and have a low population that is in danger of becoming extinct.
How does a species get “listed” as endangered?
The population of that animal has to be low and drastically declining so that the species is predicted to become extinct in a matter of a couple decades. The death rate of the population has to be higher than the birth rate in order for the population of the species to be declining.
What Causes Endangerment?
There are four main reasons that a species becomes endangered. Loss of habitat, loss of genetic variation, catastrophic events, and hunting. loss of habitat can be from disasters like volcanoes, and diseases which could destroy plants, animals and in turn, the environment they live in. Humans play the biggest role in endangerment, humans also cause massive habitat loss by destroying the environment of many species. Genetic variation loss can be caused by a low population in a species because the organisms in that species have a less diverse gene pool with fewer organisms.
People can destroy environments that they live in (Both directly and indirectly). Humans build man-made infrastructures in the place of forests, prairies, etc. People hunt and fish certain animals to endangerment and extinction.
Why save endangered species?
The loss of an endangered species can cause damage to an ecosystem. Extinction rates have raised significantly as human populations have. The loss of a species can mess up a food web and can cause more species to become endangered to extinct.
What is a recovery plan?
Remove fishing nets from areas that are known to house dugongs and have signs that prohibit fishing in areas where dugongs are located. Prohibit the capture and sale of dugongs. Restore the habitat on the east coast of Africa.
Dugongs have a large cylinder-shaped body. They tend to be pale at birth and later become dark gray. They have short hair around their body for feeling their surroundings and their face is elongated compared to manatees.
Dugongs are found around Australia and Indonesia where it is only considered vulnerable. Also found off the east coast of Africa and west coast of India where it is on the verge of extinction. They often live in shallow waters where sea-grass is located.
Sea-grass acts as their main energy source. Algae is also consumed when sea-grass cannot be found. They eat about 110 pounds of sea-grass a day.
Their reproduction rate is very slow. About every five years a female dugong gives birth to one offspring. The males will either make a territory where females will visit or multiple males will attempt to mate with a single female and pregnancy lasts about one year.
The animals that are the biggest threats to the dugong population are killer whales, crocodiles, and sharks. They are all threats, but they’re a very small threat compared to humans. Humans are the biggest contributors to the endangerment of most species around the world.
The dugong and sea-grass conservation project is determined to grow sea-grass where dugongs are located, in order to ring back their habitat. The restoration of the dugong’s habitat and food source would help the species regrow part of its population back. Dugongs are also now under the protection of Oceana, which is an organization that prohibits the hunting of endangered species.
In Kenya, the dugong is known as “The Queen of the Sea.” They are sometimes referred to as sea cows or sea pigs. They are closely related to elephants than whales, evolutionary speaking.
This is a video on the presentation by Adam Poellabauer, Josh Ingle, Evelyn Weaver, and Ivan Gubich. This presentation depicts some of the above information on Dugongs.
This video was created by Evelyn Weaver^