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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Qatar Dugongs to be tracked by helicopter

-Dugongs swimming
Qatar has the second largest population of dugongs in the world, but little is known of these secretive creatures that often avoid the ocean’s shallows.

Dugongs feed on sea grass at the bottom of the sea. The creatures are slow moving, and a recent study in California found that they avoid their natural predators, sharks, by staying in deep water.

Now these rare creatures, which may be in danger of extinction, are to be tracked by military cameras mounted on helicopters in part of a initiative by SCENR, Dolphin Energy and the Qatar Air force, according to the Gulf Times.

If you want to know more about Qatar’s marine life, watch out for the second of Frances Gillespie’s article on Qatar Nature, which will be published next month and will include pictures of dugong. The first article, An Introduction to Qatar’s Natural History, can be seen on the Natural History section of our website.

Note - image taken from Wikipedia's page on Dugongs.

Also see: Dugong on Verge of Extinction in Qatar by the International Animal Rescue site

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