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The Dugong



The Encounter
Photo Gallery
and Habitat
A female specimen at Marsa Abu Dabbab (Egypt)

These pages are dedicated to the dugong, a wonderful and ancient marine mammal, once spread abundantly all over the seas but nowadays threatened by development and environmental exploitation; still hunted in many countries and unfortunately protected only in some restricted areas.
On these pages you can hear, as a welcome, the voice of a male specimen, clicking here  . It's a common MP3 file (100 Kb), which you can also download and save. I would like to thank Hans Rothauscher for having provided it and offering it at our disposal.

The information gathered here comes from the direct observation of two specimens, which I had the luck of encountering in Marsa Abu Dabbab in April 2004. An adult specimen, which I wasn't able to photograph because it was swimming too quickly along the sandy bottom and didn't let me get close enough and a female, which I photographed on two different occasions and was able to observe for a long time, while feeding herself.

Much information is taken from an interesting study edited by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, which deals with the dugong and with the risk of extinction that it runs in the countries where it lives nowadays. The report, consisting of 172 pages, can be downloaded in PDF here (1.875 Kb) or here (11.539 Kb- higher quality). Many other documents and studies on the dugong, still in PDF, are available on the above-mentioned site.

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