Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Assalamualaikum and Peace be upon all of you..
Thanks for viewing my blog.

Today Flora and Fauna will bring you the unique species of Dugong. Yes, the same species of the once popular animal in Malaysia that called "Si Tenang" a few years ago which is found by fisherman lost at the Straits of Johor from its colony.

Dugong 1


The dugong (Dugong dugon) is a large marine mammal which, together with the manatees, is one of four living species of the order Sirenia. It is the only living representative of the once-diverse family Dugongidae; its closest modern relative, Steller's Sea Cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), was hunted to extinction in the 18th century. dugong is the only strictly-marine herbivorous mammal, as all species of manatee utilize fresh water to some degree.

The dugong has been hunted for thousands of years, often for its meat and oil. Despite being legally protected in many countries throughout their range, the main causes of population decline remain anthropogenic, and include hunting, habitat degradation, and fishing-related fatalities. With its long lifespan of 70 years or more, and slow rate of reproduction, the dugong is especially vulnerable to these types of exploitation. In addition, dugongs are threatened by storms, parasites, and their natural predators, sharks, killer whales, and crocodiles.


Its habitat range into almost 37 countries throughout the Indo-Pacific.


Groups of 10,000 or more are present on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, at Shark Bay, and in Torres Strait south of New Guinea. Before 1970, it is thought that large populations were also present in Mozambique and coastal Kenya, but these have dwindled. Palau also has a small population. On January 22, 2003, an individual was found (weight 300 kg, length 2 m) off the coast of Tanzania.

A small number of dugongs are also found in the Straits of Johor, in the Philippine provinces of Palawan, Romblon, Guimaras and Davao Oriental, in the Arabian Sea along Pakistan and in the Red Sea in Egypt provinces Marsa Alam at Marsa Abu Dabbab. The remaining dugongs in the Persian Gulf were reportedly further endangered by repeated U.S.-Iraq conflicts.

An endangered population of 50 or fewer dugongs survives around Okinawa.


Feeding -
As a herbivors, dugong diets and mainly on sea-grass, hence being called as 'sea-cows'. They will also go to any fresh water sources for drinking. Without these fresh water sources, many would not survive. The amount of these fresh water sources, however, is beginning to decline.


Migration -
During the winter, a few herds of dugongs will move to warmer places in the northern countries, such as bays and canals. Dugongs also live in warmer waters of many other countries near the equator.

Reproduction -
Gestation in the Dugong lasts around 13 months, and results in the birth of a single young. The calf is not fully weaned for a further two years, and does not become sexually mature until the age of 8-18, longer than in most other mammals. As a result, despite the longevity of the Dugong, which may live for fifty years or more, females give birth only a few times during their life, and invest considerable parental care in their young.

dugong (mother and calf)


Dugong has a long history with the human and it is proved by the 5000-year old painting at Gua Tambun, Perak.



Dugong was the only surviving species from the family of once diverse dugongidae. If a serious conservation did not take place. This unique species will someday extinct.

Here is a video of greenpeace activist trying to preserve the natural habitat of Dugong at Okinawa, Japan.



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