The ‘Dugong’ under an imminent threat

Published : 9:10 am  December 7, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (301) reads | 



By Sheain Fernandopulle  

The Dugong, a marine mammal, is under an imminent threat owing to many human activities including fishing, hunting, pollution and development projects,  Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, M.G.C.Sooriyabandara said.   


He said, Dugongs could be found specially along the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay and added they were vulnerable to extinction under the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He further said that the Dugongs are protected species in Sri Lanka under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance. 

 “Dugongs dwell in the shallow waters and are strictly herbivorous animals who have been referred to as the cows of the sea. These species need the assistance of the people to survive. But several incidents have been reported in the recent past where Dugongs were washed to shore due to the malpractices of the people. Therefore we, in collaboration with the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) and the Sri Lanka Turtle Conservation Project, have started a ‘Dugong and Seagrass Conservation project’ to enhance the conservation of dugongs (Dugong dugon) and their associated seagrass ecosystems,” Mr. Sooriyabandara said.