The Dugong used to be hunted and the population was decreased. Now we have the rule not to catch it. But the Dugong is still facing great danger; getting caught in fishing nets or crashing into boats.
Body length: 3m
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
Dugongs live in the warm and shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific Ocean.
Dugongs are grass-eaters. They eat seaweed, like eelgrass.
Dugongs have cute, stubby bodies. People say that the Dugong is the model of mermaid.
A cow living in the sea?
The Dugong looks just like the manatee and they are nicknamed as "sea cow". Like cows, the Dugong moves slowly and eats seagrass. People say "they taste the same as baby cow." And that's why people caught it for food!
Too many Dugong are killed in accidents
Now you are not supposed to catch the Dugong because it is disappearing. But there are other problems, accidents. The Dugong gets hurt by boats or drowned by getting trapped in fishing nets. Worldwide, about 10% of all Dugongs live in the Shark Bay of Australia. It is a region protecting a World Natural Heritage. Perhaps, the Dugong can live peacefully only in the protected part of the sea.
If you click the words above, you can see other animals related to this one.