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Experts on Tamil Nadu’s decision to go ahead with dugong reserve in Palk Bay

  • Published
    26th Feb, 2022
Context

Tamil Nadu government recently established a conservation reserve for the elusive dugong in the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay between India and Sri Lanka.

About

About Dugong:

  • The dugong is a species of sea cow found throughout the warm latitudes of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans.
  • It is the only member of the Dugongidae family.
  • The dugong, like all sea cows, is herbivorous
  • It primarily grazes on sea grasses and therefore spends most of its time in sea grass beds. 
  • Unlike the closely related manatees, the dugong never enters freshwater and is therefore the only exclusively marine mammal that is herbivorous. 
  • The marine animal has been enlisted vulnerable to extinction on a global scale by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
  • In India, they are found in the Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • Dugong or the sea cow is the State animal of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

About Dugong Conservation Reserve:

  • India’s first Dugong conservation reserve will be built in Tamil Nadu for the conservation of Dugong.
  • The reserve will spread over an area of 500 km in Palk Bay on the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu.
  • Palk Bay is a semi-enclosed shallow water body with a water depth maximum of 13 meters.
  • Causes of extinction: The reasons for the extinction of the animal are slow breeding rate, fishing, and the loss of habitat.

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