Occurrence and conservation of dugong (Sirenia: Dugongidae) in New South Wales

Allen, Simon, Marsh, Helene, and Hodgson, Amanda (2004) Occurrence and conservation of dugong (Sirenia: Dugongidae) in New South Wales. Linnean Society of New South Wales. Proceedings, 125. pp. 211-216.

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Abstract

Recent sightings of dugongs well beyond the southern limit of their accepted range (~27°S) on the Australian east coast prompted a review of past records of dugongs and their current conservation status in New South Wales. While archaeological analyses have identified bones of Dugong dugon in Aboriginal middens at Botany Bay (~34°S) and colonial records indicate stranded animals as far south as Tathra (~36.5°S), there were no verified sightings of live individuals in NSW waters for some years; however, five separate sightings of individuals and pairs were documented in the austral summer of 2002/03 in estuaries on the NSW central coast (~32-33.5°S). It is suggested that conditions such as warm sea temperatures and low rainfall (promoting seagrass growth) may be facilitating explorative ranging south by dugongs. The IUCN lists dugongs as ‘vulnerable’ at a global scale and they are also classified ‘vulnerable’ under the Threatened Species Conservation Act NSW 1995, yet they are not routinely considered in risk assessments for inshore development in this State. Threatening processes such as shark meshing persist. The importance of considering dugongs in future impact assessments for inshore marine and estuarine developments is emphasized.

Item ID: 7058
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: conservation; distribution; dugong
ISSN: 0370-047X
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2010 01:49
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 70%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 4
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