Dugongs face extinction in Thailand

Dugongs in Thailand’s waters face extinction unless their habitat and food sources are protected, according to a recent study. One of the most gentle marine mammals, dugongs are facing a serious threat as recent research by the Marine and Coastal Resources Department showed that only about 200 of the animals live in Thai waters. The species has a low birth rate and approximately eight dugongs die every year. Trang’s Had Chao Mai National Park chief Manoj Wongsureerat said that in order to save dugongs in Thai territory, a proper survey on the animals’ behaviour, habitat and feeding grounds was essential so authorities could designate a protected zone. “In all Thai territory, Trang has the highest dugong population. In this province alone there are around 160 dugongs. However, of this number, about five die every year and at this death rate, the dugong population is in danger in the long term,” Manoj said.

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