Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Manatee's Cousin Faces Extinction On Tanzanian Coast

Date:
July 17, 2003
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Known worldwide for its diversity of large species, Tanzania could soon lose one of its most unique mammals--the dugong--to a combination of net entanglement and habitat destruction.

Known worldwide for its diversity of large species, Tanzania could soon lose one of its most unique mammals--the dugong--to a combination of net entanglement and habitat destruction. This close relative of the manatee may soon become locally extinct without measures to protect it where it still persists along the Tanzanian coastline, according to a new report from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other groups.

"It is clear that dugongs are now critically endangered here, and certainly Tanzania's rarest large mammal," said Dr. Tim Davenport, WCS conservation biologist and a co-author of the recent report, which has found that these rare mammals have been eliminated from all but two locations in Tanzanian waters.

Formerly common along the coast of Tanzania, the dugong--a long-lived, slowly reproducing animal that grows up to 11 feet in length and almost 900 pounds--has been in dramatic decline since the 1970s. This decrease in population is the result of hunting and other threats such as accidental entanglement in fishing nets and the destruction of coastal habitats with seagrass, the dugong's primary food source. This decline has occurred in spite of the fact that the species has been nationally protected since 1970. On the international level, dugongs are considered vulnerable throughout their current range within tropical and subtropical coastal waters of the eastern Pacific and Indian Oceans, and are listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which bans all trade.

In this first nationwide assessment for dugongs in Tanzania, conservationists from WCS, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and The Mafia Island Turtle & Dugong Conservation Programme conducted interviews with 420 fishermen from 57 villages along the Tanzanian coast. Out of this group, only 32 sightings of dugongs were reported, and only 8 of these sightings involved living animals.

"Effectively managed sanctuaries are probably the only realistic way to prevent dugong extinction in Tanzania," said WCS researcher Dr. Daniela De Luca, who helped coordinate the research project. In addition to establishing sanctuaries in the two areas where dugongs may remain, the report recommends that fishermen should be encouraged to participate in dugong conservation through financial incentives.

Researchers from WCS and their regional partners will now focus their survey efforts on the two coastal areas where dugongs are thought to persist.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Manatee's Cousin Faces Extinction On Tanzanian Coast." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030717090609.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2003, July 17). Manatee's Cousin Faces Extinction On Tanzanian Coast. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030717090609.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Manatee's Cousin Faces Extinction On Tanzanian Coast." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030717090609.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins