Distribution, Abundance and Conservation Status of Dugong around Koh Talibong, Trang Province, Thailand

Manoch Wongsuryrat, Kasem Chunkao, Piboon Prabuddham, Mitree Daungsavat

Abstract


The survey of the dugong population was conducted by using the paramotor between 14 January - 15 March 2008. Altogether 14 dugongs were sighted. The three main feeding grounds were the mouth of river which is the sea-route between Ban Chao Mai and Ban Lang Khao pier. One dugong was sighted in the Koh Talibong area. Another 4 was sighted around the Chu Hoey Cape. The largest number, 9 dugongs were sighted around the Haad Tha Tub and Thung Chin Bay. All the dugongs seemed to be swimming slowly and generally use the gully during the high tide. The dugong sighted in the Koh Talibong area fed mainly on Halophila ovalis. Altogether 25 traces of feeding were found averaging 0.19 meters in width (ranging between 0.15 – 0.25 meters), and 4.47 meters in length (ranging between 2.32. – 6.15 meters). The size of traces left behind averaged at 0.87 sq. meter/trace. The depth of the trace measured from the seabed averaged at 0.15 meter (ranging between 0.08 – 0.20 meter) Since the Koh Talibong is the largest seagrass bed in Thailand and is also the area where the largest number of dugongs were sighted on the Andaman Coast. To protect the resources in this area which is the main feeding ground for dugongs, it is necessary to create awareness of the ecological importance, to foster cooperation with Local Governments and the local fishing communities. It is also recommended that some form of agreements be made between the responsible public agencies and the various group of resource users over delineating of areas to be designated as dugongs and seagrass beds conservation zones that are clearly separate from areas where fishing activities are permitted which should be a modality to ensure adequate protection and sustainability of both seagrass beds and the dugong population.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/jsd.v4n3p118

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online)

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