A group of fishermen in Tamil Nadu recently rescued and released a young Dugong that had been caught accidentally in their fishing net.


About Dugong

  • The dugong (Dugong dugon), also called the sea cow, is a herbivorous mammal.
  • Scientific Name — Dugong dugon
  • Distribution —
          • They have a broad but fragmented range inhibiting the warm coastal waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans.
          • The largest population of sea cows is found in the northern waters of Australia.
          • The second largest population is found in the Arabian Gulf.
      • Dugongs are not considered migratory but are known to travel great distances within their range in order to find food.
  • Habitat — They generally inhabit shallow waters, remaining at depths of around 10 m.
  • Features —
      • Dugongs range in length from about 2.2 to 3.4 metres and weigh 230 to 420 kg.
      • It has a tapered body that ends in a deeply notched tail or fluke.
      • The forelimbs are rounded flippers lacking nails; there are no hind limbs nor any discernible neck.
      • They are long-lived animals (up to 73 years).
  • Conservation Status — IUCN: Vulnerable
  • India’s first Dugong conservation reserve will be built in Tamil Nadu for the conservation of Dugong. The reserve will spread over an area of 500 km in Palk Bay on the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu.