World Dugong Day | Prelims 2020 | UPSC
World Dugong Day 2020: Marine mammal fighting for survival in Indian waters
WHY IN NEWS:
Conservation only way to save species from extinction, says experts
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Biodiversity : Fauna
- Dugongs are an endangered marine species like sea turtles, seahorses, sea cucumbers and others.
- There were just 250 dugongs in the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat according to the 2013 survey report of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).
- Dugongs are mammals, which means they give birth to live young and then produce milk and nurse them.
- Once the female is pregnant, she will carry the unborn baby, called a foetus for 12-14 months before giving birth.
- Female dugongs give birth underwater to a single calf at three to seven-year intervals.
- Dugongs graze on seagrass, especially young shoots and roots in shallow coastal waters.
- They can consume up to 40 kilograms of seagrass in a day.
THREATS TO DUGONGS :
HUMAN ACTIVITIES SUCH AS THE :
- Destruction and modification of habitat,
- Rampant illegal fishing activities,
- Vessel strikes,
- Unsustainable hunting or
- Poaching and unplanned tourism are the main threats to dugongs.
- Many gullible people used to consume the meat under the wrong impression that it would cool their body temperature.
- The killings have stopped though, ever since, the WII began awareness drives among people.
India has signed non-legally binding Memorandums of Understanding with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016)
- Proper conservation is the only way to save dugongs from extinction.
- Conservation in other places like Australia has seen their population crossing 85,000
SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains
DISCOVER MORE : Important IUCN Articles