Donate for Dugongs
DUGONGS ARE GENTLE marine creatures that graze on seagrass meadows in warm waters throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Currently listed as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN’s Red List, only about 100,000 (one-fifth of the world’s population) remain in Australian and Torres Strait Island waters. Each year, more than 60 dead dugongs wash up on Queensland beaches; the causes of about 90 per cent of these fatalities are a mystery to researchers. Help scientists discover more about dugongs and solve these mysterious deaths. Donate now to our Dugong Appeal.
Did you know…
Australia is home to at least one-fifth of the world’s dugong population. Dugongs can live for up to 70 years and may weigh up to 300kg. Folklore has it that
lonely sailors mistook dugongs for mermaids, giving rise to their order name – Sirenia.
In 2011, following the January floods that devastated Brisbane and its surrounds, more than 200 dugongs washed up dead on Australia’s north-eastern beaches. In an average year, about 60 meet this end, for reasons that are unknown. Without a better understanding of dugong physiology, it’s impossible to know what kills them and why the population is declining. Pollution may be a cause – testing has shown that flooding sends chemicals from land into the oceans, which may be affecting dugong health.
Make a Difference
The University of Queensland dugong research team, led by Dr Janet Lanyon, are the premier dugong research team in Australia, and are fast running out of funds. Government grants are not enough; they need your help. Donate now to dugong research and save this species from an early grave.