This Wildlife Wednesday, learn about the threatened dugong - a large marine mammal that may have been the inspiration for mermaids.
It’s a mermaid! It’s a sea cow! It’s a … dugong? This Wildlife Wednesday, learn about the highly threatened dugong—a type of sea cow very similar to a manatee.
Habitat: the shallow, warm, tropical waters from off East Africa to Australia (including the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean)
Why they’re threatened and how to help
Dugongs are highly threatened. According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), there are fewer than 150 of them left in the waters around Africa.
Although there is protective legislature in place, dugongs are slow moving and are at risk from being struck and killed by boats, and being caught in fishing nets and marine debris. They are further threatened by declining water quality, and habitat loss such as from marinas. Learn more about water quality and what you can do to reduce marine debris in your day-to-day life.