manatee tagged posts

Dugong Extinct in China

Researchers have declared a mammal related to the manatee – said to have inspired ancient tales of mermaids and sirens – extinct in China. Only three people surveyed from coastal communities in China reported seeing the dugong in the past five years. Known as the ocean’s most gentle giant, the dugong’s slow, relaxed behaviour is likely to have made it vulnerable to overfishing and shipping accidents. It still exists elsewhere in the world but is facing similar threats.

Prof Samuel Turvey, from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), who co-authored the research study, said: “The likely disappearance of the dugong in China is a devastating loss.”

Scientists at ZSL and the Chinese Academy of Science reviewed all historical data on where dugongs had previously been found in China. 

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