“The likely disappearance of the dugong in China is a devastating loss.”
(Prof Samuel Turvey, ZSL & co-author)
A review of all historical data on where dugongs had previously been found in China concludes that there have been no verified sightings by scientists since 2000.
The research study, ‘Functional extinction of dugongs in China‘, by Lin, M. et al., sought to determine the current distribution and status of dugong through a large-scale survey of local communities across four Chinese provinces and a review of historical data relating to dugong distribution in Chinese waters.
Carried out by Scientists at Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Chinese Academy of Science, the study concludes that, “this rapid documented population collapse also serves as a sobering reminder that extinctions can occur before effective conservation actions are developed”.
The full article is available to read here
Associated BBC News Article
Mingli, L. et al., (2022), Functional extinction of dugongs in China. R. Soc. open sci. 9: 211994